Apple to launch massive privacy updates

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Apple is preparing to kick off a new row over the privacy of iPhone users this week when it releases a new software update that will allow people to refuse to be tracked around the internet.

The iPhone maker is expected to release its latest software update, iOS 14.5, either today or tomorrow. When it is released, users will be warned of attempts to track them online and can easily refuse to share their data with app developers.

Facebook stands to be the biggest loser from the change and has lobbied hard against it, even taking out multiple full-page newspaper adverts to try to win public support.

The new update contains a broadside against the mobile advertising industry that threatens to upend its ability to keep generating money.

iOS 14.5 will explicitly ask iPhone users if they want to allow apps to track them around the web. Most surveys have indicated that a majority, perhaps even as many as 80pc, of iPhone users will refuse to give permission.

For apps that rely on tracking such as Facebook, this is a serious problem that threatens their ability to gather data and then serve relevant adverts.

Apple agreed to delay the changes until now only after a major lobbying campaign led by Facebook that included full-page newspaper adverts. But now iOS 14.5 is right around the corner.

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