Apple rolls out major privacy protections

Apple users now must opt in to third party apps tracking their online activity. Before, consumers could only opt out of data tracking. Adriana Diaz has the details.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: Well tonight, Apple is shaking up the tech industry with a new privacy feature that allows users to decide how they want their personal information handled. Apple estimates there are more than 1 and 1/2 billion of its devices in use, and many who use them are now becoming more aware of who's tracking them. Here is CBS's Adriana Diaz.

ADRIANA DIAZ: Tonight, Apple is taking a bite out of online data tracking.

- When you're using apps on your iPhone, you may start to see this.

ADRIANA DIAZ: Apple users now have to opt-in to third party apps tracking their online activity data, which is used to target consumers with ads. Before, users could only opt out.

GENNIE GEBHART: Switching from opt-out to opt-in is huge.

ADRIANA DIAZ: Gennie Gebhart with the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation says the new policy will be a sea change for digital advertisers.

GENNIE GEBHART: This tracking feature that wasn't built for users, it was built for advertisers, and it's never worked in user's best interests.

ADRIANA DIAZ: Facebook and Google could be hit hard, too. Apps can build a user's profile by collecting web surfing data, like your interests, demographics, even political leanings to send users specific ads. In a statement, Facebook said Apple's move will harm their small business advertisers, and is about profit, not privacy.

Late today, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted, "At Apple, we've always believed that you should be in control of your data." Apple says they're doing this because they really care about users' privacy. Should people believe that, or do you think Apple has ulterior motives?

GENNIE GEBHART: I think that users should believe that Apple is building its brand and staking its reputation on privacy.

ADRIANA DIAZ: Adding to the debate-- privacy versus profit. Adriana Diaz, CBS News, Chicago.