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Taking a bite: Apple and privacy

by Bench February 3, 2021

Taking a bite: Apple and privacy

In a time of significant change, the advertising ecosystem was faced with the great unknown when Apple announced huge changes last year.

Apple’s iOS 14 update will include a huge shift in the way data is tracked as Apple’s identifier for advertisers, IDFA, will become opt-in.

The new prompt will require developers to ask for permission when they use data from other apps and websites for advertising purposes, even with existing user consent. While this change represents a positive shift towards greater control for the user, it will significantly impact attribution and visibility of key metrics for media campaigns.

The prompts are part of the tech giant’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, and speak to the need to raise awareness about the importance of protecting Apple user’s personal data online.

The timeline is still uncertain with the update set for early this year after an initial delay to allow mobile advertisers time to adapt their strategies.

As we move towards a more open internet in reaction to consumer demand for transparency and control, how have the big technology players reacted to Apple’s updates?

Facebook has been highly critical of Apple’s iOS privacy changes. It has been strongly opposed to the proposed changes to IDFA in order to ‘speak up for small business’, and even ran full-page newspaper ads as part of its response to stand up to Apple. It has since admitted that it has no choice but to comply with these new requirements.

Apple’s response to Facebook’s criticism, meanwhile, was that it is standing up for users.

Now, Facebook is testing a new in-app screen on iOS 14 to convince users to opt-in for tracking. The prompt will appear before Apple’s, and provides additional information about Facebook’s own privacy controls and data collection for personalised advertising.

On the other hand, Google has released its own view as it prepares for the upcoming policy updates. It has announced that once the policy goes into effect, it will no longer use information, such as IDFA, for its iOS apps that currently use it for advertising. It will not show Apple’s prompt on the apps in question.

When these changes do take place with iOS 14, it’s important that the industry comes together to work towards an ecosystem where users can access ad-supported content while remaining confident about data privacy.

Start a conversation with us now to learn how Apple’s iOS updates will impact your media campaigns.