Exploring User Motivations Behind iOS App Tracking Transparency Decisions

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework allows users to decide whether they want to allow their activity to be tracked for advertising purposes. In this work we examine the tracking decisions made by 312 participants and their associations with privacy concern and personality factors, and conduct a thematic analysis on participants’ reasons for choosing to accept or reject tracking requests. Despite 51% of participants reporting that they had rejected tracking for privacy reasons, higher privacy concern scores did not correlate with a lower rate of tracking acceptance. Additionally, 43% of participants held incorrect beliefs about what tracking does, including nearly a quarter who mistakenly believed that accepting a tracking request would share their location with the requesting app. We suggest explanations for these misconceptions and provide recommendations that may improve usability of both App Tracking Transparency and future Privacy Enhancing Technologies.



Paper | ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Hamburg, April 23-28, 2023
The paper is open access and available via the ACM Digital Library.
Presentation | ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Hamburg, April 23-28, 2023
A pre-recorded version of the presentation is available on YouTube (the live presentation was not recorded). You can also view the slides here (7.02 MB).
Poster | BPS Cyberpsychology Conference
Brighton, September 22-23, 2022
The poster image (2.09 MB) is available to view.
Poster | Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security
Bath, July 11-13, 2023
This poster focuses specifically on user misconceptions around tracking and how these could be exploited. The file will be available soon.