Now, in order to gain any access to user information, the developer will have to obtain prior consent from the owner of the smartphone. The update will be available in spring 2021.
What is SDK?
To understand why this news is important and why Apple is so concerned about the privacy of its customers, you need to understand what this SDK is.
A software development kit, or SDK for short, is a kind of "kit" that is necessary when developing software. With its help, developers can produce programs for different platforms. This component is used both in computers and mobile phones and even game consoles.
Speaking specifically about the SDK for mobile phones, then developers need them as a tool with which you can easily create any high-performance program for tablets and smartphones. And they, in turn, can be downloaded to such marketplaces as the App Store and Play Store.
Thus, the SDK is not always a safe and useful function, since unscrupulous developers are ready to sell it to scammers for a certain amount, which depends on the number of users of the program. What is it for scammers? It's simple - the SDK can collect complete information about the geolocation of the owner of the iPhone or any other smartphone, as well as read the readings of the phone's motion sensors. After that, all this is sent to a third-party server, where all information is resold to those who wish.
What is Apple doing?
The source states that with the new update, Apple intends to reject all programs and applications from the App Store if it is found using third-party SDK that collect sensitive information about users without their permission.
The most common way is to use a smartphone fingerprint. With such a fingerprint, you can get an IP address, device name and other personal information for your use. Often, such data is used by developers in order to analyze their audience, or to promote one or another product advertisement. And while the law does not prohibit tracking a user, Apple still decided not to mess with apps that use a third-party SDK without the iPhone owner's permission.
Most of the updates affected the Adjust company, because their SDK is used by about 50 thousand programs, which means that many updates of various applications will be rejected. To fix this problem, Apple has worked on its SDK. During the revision process, an intrusive code was identified, which the company removed from its platform.
Apple Tracking Transparency, with its security update, will clearly affect more than just Adjust. For example, the social network Facebook is also not particularly happy with the principle of transparency in tracking. After all, the transparency of tracking will provide users with the opportunity to opt out of the IDFA identifier if they wish, which in turn will affect the promotion of advertising.
In the near future, such opportunities may well create a problem for Facebook, since all major advertisers will simply leave the site. And this will entail numerous losses of large sums, because the main investment force of a social network is advertising and product promotion.
Tracking transparency will be an integral part of the new iOS 14.5 update. It is planned to be released for free access to Apple users in the late spring of 2021.
Google collects 20x more data on Android than Apple does on iOS
Lately, big tech companies have been having conversations about privacy policies. And here Apple has something to be proud of, because according to analysts, at the moment, it is the best at protecting the confidential information of its consumers. Douglas Leith, who is an IT researcher at Trinity College Dublin, has investigated in his new research paper whether this is actually the case.
He analyzed how much telemetry information was transmitted to companies that are directly responsible for the operating systems of androids and iPhones. Leith took as a basis the data that is sent to the servers of Google and Apple during the work of standard applications and programs of companies, as well as actions during background activity. Moreover, what makes this study interesting is the realization that it also took into account data sent from smartphones by those users who did not give their consent to send any data to companies in the settings of their operating systems.
The results surprised many, as curious points emerged during the investigation. iOS standard collects information from the Safari browser, iCloud cloud storage and Siri voice assistant, sending all this to the company's servers. At the same time, the android reads data from Docs, Clock, Chrome and other standard applications even when the owner of the smartphone has not logged into his Google account. Moreover, while gadgets on iOS send about 50 KB of information to the company in 12 hours of standby mode, Android devices in the same mode send 20 times more data, that is, 1 MB.
It should be noted that all tested devices in standby mode connected to their servers every 4 minutes.
Apple has decided to ignore the study as it has yet to comment on it. With Google, things were exactly the opposite. The corporation disagreed with the results and representatives made a remark that they did not collect 20 times more information than their competitors. Moreover, Google representatives said that according to their research, the situation is completely different, and they are ready to share their methods with Douglas.
Google also drew parallels with new cars, which at regular intervals send developers basic information about the condition of individual parts. So smartphones work the same way. In addition, the corporation adds that their Android APIs, just like Google, were created in such a way as to work comfortably with different types of devices. And telemetry is needed purely for the correct setting of functions for a certain type of phone or tablet.
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