Apple released iOS 14.5.1, correcting a flaw in its newest privacy system that prevented some iPhone users from adjusting the app’s tracking settings. Added with iOS 14.5 – released last month – App Tracking Transparency requires applications to request permission from users before collecting data on various services or selling personal data to brokers for advertising purposes.
It proved to be a controversial introduction. Apple originally intended to launch the system before iOS 14.5, but met with resistance from developers and ad networks. However, it was only delayed and – despite protests from Facebook and others – it aired in April 2021.
The way application tracking transparency should work is that users have the option to allow tracking or opt-out. If they choose to leave, but the app developer continues to use the data in any way, they can be deleted from the App Store.
By default, Application Tracking Transparency should come with the setting to allow applications to make these requests enabled. However, with the release of iOS 14.5, some iPhone users found that the toggle button on the Settings page was dimmed and could not be activated. This meant that applications could not request permission.
It’s something that Apple addresses in today’s iOS 14.5.1 release. “This update fixes an issue with Application Tracking Transparency, where some users who have disabled the Allow applications to request tracking in settings option may not receive application requests after reactivating it,” explains Apple in its release notes.
The update also includes bug fixes and security patches, says Apple. It is a very small download compared to iOS 14.5, with only about 114 MB in our experience.
IOS 14.5 delivered more than just application tracking transparency, of course. The software also enabled Apple’s long-awaited Face ID enhancements for wearers, allowing iPhones to be accessed while the user’s unlocked Apple Watch was nearby. In addition, it has enabled AirTag support, which is needed not only to pair a new Apple tracker with an iPhone, but also to receive alerts if a foreign AirTag is close to you and potentially secretly tracking you.