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Apple delays iPhone ad tracking changes that rattled industry

September 3, 2020, 6:15 PM UTC

Apple is delaying a change to its upcoming iOS 14 iPhone software that Facebook Inc. and other developers have warned would hurt their advertising businesses.

The move, announced in June, requires users to give explicit permission before letting apps track them for advertising purposes. This was due to be implemented this fall with the rollout of iOS 14. It is now being delayed until early next year, Apple said on Thursday.

“We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year,” Apple said in a statement.

The company added that the feature will still be implemented when iOS 14 is released, but the delay means it won’t enforce the rule and require developers to adopt it. Apple said it will release more details on implementing the feature later this year.

The debate centers on a unique Apple code linked to each device, known as an Identification for Advertisers, or IDFA. App developers have historically used IDFA to help target users with ads, and track the performance of ads across different devices.