App Tracking Transparency

A new feature in iOS and iPadOS 14.5 has been getting a lot of press recently. It’s called “App Tracking Transparency” and the idea is that it gives people the choice as to whether companies can track user behaviour across apps and websites.

Many companies that are funded by advertising dislike ATP as it limits their ability to target individuals. They claim that this will make advertising less effective and end up costing small business more.

We at Wandle Software are big fans of this feature.

We don’t track people. Our apps don’t even include third-party analytics. We literally don’t know how many people are using any of our apps, much less what features they use or any of their behaviour outside the app. Is this limiting? Yes! When we include a new feature we don’t know whether it gets used. But we don’t want our activities to be tracked, so we don’t inflict it on our users either.

Will ATP cost small businesses more? It shouldn’t. If Facebook and Google’s advertising is less effective, market forces would suggest that they should lower their prices. So maybe they make less money. And if they don’t lower their prices then either they didn’t need tracking or there is no effective market (in which case maybe governments should intervene).

Long story short: we don’t track people. You won’t see the “Can we track you?” prompt in any of our apps. But because we’re not supported by advertising, all the money used to fund development comes directly from users, either by purchasing the app or by contributing to the tip jar.