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A new privacy protecting feature on iOS 14 has left advertisers worried. Including Facebook

Consider this: You're an iPhone user, and sometime in September, when you update to iOS 14, you're greeted by a pop-up when you open an app which says that the app will like to track you across apps and websites built by other companies. You have two options: to either allow the app to do that kind of tracking, or decline it. In short, the update promises to put users more in control about how online services use their personal data; and since most people are expected to choose the latter, digital advertising companies, including Facebook, are worried. For Facebook's Audience Network, which is the social media company's ad network for developers, it is expecting a drop of over 50% in revenue. Other developers like the UK-based DMG Media, which owns outlets such as Daily Mail, are reportedly considering nuking their iOS app altogether. What's changing? Every Apple device comes with a unique identification code, which can be used to track what users do on their phone. Unsurprisingly, the code, called identifier for advertisers (IDFA) is extensively used by adtech companies, including Facebook to track user behaviour across various services so that they can run targeted ads at them. However, when Apple announced iOS 14, its operating system for iPhones and iPads for 2020, it said that any developer who wants to use the unique code will also have have to take explicit consent from users. This means, iPhone users can expect to see lots of pop-ups like this when…

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