Apple has officially released iOS 14.5 and App Tracking Transparency to the public. In conjunction with that release, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi sat down with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal to discuss App Tracking Transparency and its implications on users and advertisers.

Federighi emphasized in the interview that the goal of App Tracking Transparency is merely to give users a choice over the sharing of their user data. The abuses of personal data, Federighi explained, can range from “creepy to dangerous.”

“We really just want to give users a choice,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told me in an exclusive video interview. “These devices are so intimately a part of our lives and contain so much of what we’re thinking and where we’ve been and who we’ve been with that users deserve and need control of that information.” He added, “The abuses can range from creepy to dangerous.”

App Tracking Transparency was originally slated to be released as part of iOS 14 last fall, but Apple delayed the rollout to give developers more time to prepare. Despite this delay, Federighi told the WSJ that Apple always felt confident that App Tracking Transparency was the right thing to launch.

“It wasn’t surprising to us to hear that some people were going to push back on this, but at the same time, we were completely confident that it’s the right thing,” Mr. Federighi said. While the feature’s rollout has been delayed, Mr. Federighi said that was caused not by backlash but because Apple had to make sure app developers could comply when a user opted out of tracking. Mr. Federighi said Apple worked hard on the clarity of the prompts and has created privacy-respecting ad tools for developers.

“People have their own sense of privacy and how important it is to them,” Mr. Federighi said. “So we will all make our personal decisions.”

The full report at the Wall Street Journal is well worth a read and can be found here. You can also learn more about App Tracking Transparency in our detailed hands-on right here.

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