A research carried out by two app developers, Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry, suggests that Apple tracks their users even if the settings are set to “disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether.”
According to this research, the setting do not have an immediate effect on tracking – Apple still collects your data whether Apple Analytics is turned off or turned on.
The App Store happens to collect information about everything you do in real time, including which apps you search for, what ads you see, and how long you look at a given app and how you found it. Other examined apps to track your data regardless of the settings include Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, the iTunes Store, and Stocks. Most of them send analytics data shared consistent ID numbers, which enables Apple to track users’ activity across its services, the researchers found.
In the video that Mysk posted on Twitter, he explains what data the App Store collects from users' devices:
While collecting users’ data can be perceived wrong by some people as a concept itself, the data that Apple collects can be very sensitive in terms of how personal this information is. The fact that a user is looking at apps related to mental health, addiction, sexual orientation, and religion can reveal things that one might not want to share with corporate servers.
Apple maintains that it cares a lot about users’ privacy, which they pose as the defining feature of their products. One can argue, however, that in data privacy it operates the same way as Google and Meta does.
Apple’s advertising platform does not track you, meaning that it does not link user or device data collected from our apps with user or device data collected from third parties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes, and does not share user or device data with data brokers,
says the company’s website.
I expected from a company like Apple, that believes that privacy is a fundamental human right, to collect more generic analytics,