Apple will delay the implementation of new privacy controls that curb advertisers' ability to track its device users across the internet.
The privacy controls, part of Apple's iOS 14 software update, will not be mandatory for developers until 2021, the company said Thursday. They require apps to obtain permission from users before collecting data to better serve them targeted ads.
"We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year," Apple said in a statement. The ability to seek user permission will be available to developers before then but not mandatory, the company said.
Apple first announced iOS 14 in June, with a full rollout of the new operating system expected this fall.
The new privacy requirements threaten to upend parts of the online ad ecosystem, with Facebook warning last month that its advertising business would take a hit once iOS 14 is implemented. It said at the time that the update may render one of its services "so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future."
Facebook declined to comment on Apple's decision to delay the new changes.
Apple has made user privacy a key feature of its marketing in recent years, even releasing an ad earlier on Thursday that touted the iPhone's privacy protections.