How to stop someone from tracking your iPhone without them knowing
This iOS 16 guide is about how to stop someone from tracking your iPhone without them knowing. Or better put, how to block app tracking on iPhone running the latest iOS 16 or iPadOS 16.
Since iOS 14.5, Apple has allowed people to control which apps can keep track of mobile browsing. Apps must display a screen with explanations before asking for permission to track the user, which they may or may not accept. See what the practical difference is with this change and how to block app tracking on iPhone.
How to stop someone from tracking your iPhone without them knowing?
When I use the term “stop someone” in the heading here, please note that I mean ” stop app” from tracking your browsing activities. iPhone users take their privacy and security very seriously, which is why Meta is currently being sued for tracking users’ activities using Facebook and Instagram without proper permission.
To avoid such an occurrence and ensure that your private data is not being tracked, you can grant permission to track your activities or disable tracking by following the steps below:
- Go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone and tap “Privacy & Security“.
- Click on the “Tracking” tab.
- From the list of apps displayed, select the app you want to stop tracking your activities and click on it to disable tracking.
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How to allow an app tracking on iPhone iOS 16
Since you have learnt how to stop someone from tracking your iPhone without them knowing, using apps installed on your device. In some situations, you may have an app that needs to be “allowed” to track your browsing activities for whatever reason. Here’s how to allow it to track you.
- Go to Settings.
- Navigate down and click on “Privacy & Security“.
- Look for the app you want and tap the ON/OFF switch next to the app name to allow tracking.
This process is the same as blocking app tracking on iPhone, only the final option is different. But you can do more in this section of Settings.
What is the iPhone app tracking?
When the option is enabled, the app is allowed to track the user’s browsing on other apps and company websites. But what is this tracking? Apple responds:
Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked to information that identifies you or your device collected from apps, websites, and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.
If the prompt appears when entering an app, you must tap “Allow” or “Ask App Not to Track“. The app developer is able to customize part of the warning to explain why they are asking to track your activity. If you’re curious, the app’s product page on the App Store gives more information about how the developer uses the data.
What if I refuse to allow apps’ requests to track my iPhone?
Even if you refuse to allow apps’ requests to track your iPhone browsing activities, you can continue to use all the features of that application normally.
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By selecting the option “Ask App Not to Track“, the app developer will not be able to access the system advertising identifier (IDFA), which is generally used for tracking. The app will also not be allowed to track your activity using other information that identifies you or your device, such as your email address.
Also, since the lockdown came, Apple has updated its guidelines outlining what companies can and cannot do to get people’s permission. The practice of paying users in exchange for permission, for example, has been banned and could lead to an App Store ban.