Why your App Store activity isn’t as private as you thought | Media Pyro


Apple is reportedly tracking every click users make on the App Store. The report calls into question Apple’s public support for online privacy.

Though AppleIn an apparent push for digital privacy, the company is reportedly tracking every click users make on the App Store. Apple has often spoken out in favor of user privacy, highlighting a host of iPhone features that help users better protect their digital footprints from being tracked by apps and other online services. However, the company has also frequently criticized Google and Facebook, which rely on advertising revenue, for handling user data too freely. Last year alone, the company’s restrictions on ad tracking were said to have cost social media companies an estimated $10 billion in ad revenue.


As part of its plans to prevent iPhone users from being tracked, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 16 called Lock Mode. According to the company, this is intended to stop high-ranking government officials and company executives from being attacked for espionage. Lockdown mode is a last resort reserved for a select few who are either at real risk of being targeted by sophisticated hackers or are paranoid enough to believe that someone, somewhere, is out to get them. If you enable this feature, it severely limits the iPhone’s functionality, meaning it doesn’t make sense for normal users.

Related: How to Block Spam on iPhone

According to two iOS developers, Apple has been recording every click on the App Store since iOS 14.6. In a series of tweets, developers mysk claimed that Apple collects detailed data about what users do in the App Store, saying “When a user browses an App Store app, detailed usage data is sent to Apple at the same time. The data contains identifiers to match behavior to a profile.” They also claimed that Apple collects information about its users “too much, even if the user agreed to share analytics with Apple.”

Does Apple track users in the App Store?

Interestingly, Apple introduced a new tracking mechanism in iOS 14.6 right after the release of iOS 14.5, which introduced App Tracking Transparency to prevent developers from capturing users’ fingerprints. The developers also say they are unclear whether Apple is still collecting App Store analytics data in iOS 16, even if sharing analytics and personal recommendations is turned off.

The report comes when Apple is looking for ways to expand the volume and scale of advertising in the App Store. As part of the plan, the company began showing more ads on the App Store last month, before reversing course after heavy criticism from developers for showing gambling-related ads next to their apps on the App Store.

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Source: Mysk/Twitter


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