Apple has urged developers to make sure their apps are ready for its new App Tracking Transparency privacy feature that is expected within weeks.

The tech firm has confirmed that the new framework will take effect when the iOS 14.5 update is released, possibly later this month.

The framework will force all apps to request user permission to track them or use their device’s advertising identifier.

In a fresh update this week Apple said: “When submitting your app for review, any other form of tracking — for example, by name or email address — must be declared in the product page’s App Store Privacy Information section and be performed only if permission is granted through AppTrackingTransparency.

“You’ll also need to include a purpose string in the system prompt to explain why you’d like to track the user.”

It also said that collecting device and usage data with the intent of deriving a unique representation of a user, or fingerprinting is a violation of Apple’s licensing agreements.

The move has not been without its controversy with Facebook taking out newspaper advertisements in December saying the move will impact small businesses by making it more difficult to run personalised ads and reach their customers.

Tim Cook, Chief Executive of Apple, in a recent interview for the New York Times’ Sway podcast said: “I think that you can do digital advertising and make money from digital advertising without tracking people when they don’t know they’re being tracked. And I think time will prove that out. I’ve heard this about other things we’ve done in the past that it’s almost existential and it wasn’t. I don’t buy that”

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