Apple is facing increasing pressure to tighten its App Tracking Transparency rules after it was found that third parties are using workarounds to identify users who do not consent to be tracked, according to the Financial Times.
Apple rules around App Tracking Transparency, which came into effect as part of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, require apps to ask for consent to track users across websites and apps so that they can be targeted with advertising.
According to Eric Seufert, a marketing strategy consultant, many apps are using workaround methods to identify users who do not consent to being tracked, meaning that the amount of data being collected from many users is de facto unchanged.
"Anyone opting out of tracking right now is basically having the same level of data collected as they were before. Apple hasn't actually deterred the behavior that they have called out as being so reprehensible, so they are kind of complicit in it happening," Seufert explained.
According to an email seen by the Financial Times, one app vendor told its clients that it had managed to continue collecting data on over 95 percent of its iOS users, using device and network information such as IP addresses to determine user identities. This secretive technique, known as "fingerprinting," is banned by Apple, which insists that developers "may not derive data from a device for the purpose of uniquely identifying it."