Apple has recently launched the iPhone privacy feature, App Tracking Transparency (ATT), proving to be a great success for those who care about privacy.
According to the latest report in a Bloomberg article, iOS 14.5’s ATT, as already predicted, has hurt the likes of Facebook and its advertisers. However, if we see the latest figures from Branch, which analyses mobile app growth, it shows that 75% of iPhone users are opting out of being tracked across their iPhones.
ATT, which was launched in April, effectively stated the end of the identifier for advertisers (IDFA), a unique code that allows different apps to track you across apps and websites you use on your iPhone. If you deny the new “Allow App to Track” iOS prompt, the app developer will be given a string of zeros in place of the unique code.
The impact of this is enormous, as the IDFA was used to calculate the success of ad campaigns—for instance, if someone saw an advertisement on Facebook but typed the site information into Google and brought up the website, it was possible to track this. Not anymore, and combined with the fact there are now fewer data available to be collected by external websites and sent back to Facebook, it’s become impossible to track, profile and target users with ads.
Some time back, Facebook said that its advertisers would be hurt, and Bloomberg has confirmed this, quoting people in the advertising sector who display this data removes a “single source of truth” measuring ad effectiveness.
The privacy-focused business model works for Apple.
Apple’s ATT feature is putting pressure on companies like Facebook and its advertisers to change the model. This doesn’t seem a bad idea since the previous model was broken, with unwanted tracking like taking over the people’s privacy.
In reply to this, Facebook has said that they are looking at other ways of measuring ads’ success, but it needs to do so with privacy in mind. As Google’s FLoC experiment shows, users are not ready to take new measures from the big tech companies at face value. It is also related to trust—and by keeping that trust factor, Apple is on the upper edge with Facebook and Google.
It is correct to say ATT was a great move by Apple, but it should be noted that privacy is a business model that works for the iPhone maker. Apple makes its money through its walled garden ecosystem of hardware, software, and services, unlike Facebook and Google. Its model is not based on the concept of data collection and tracking to serve you ads.
This is not surprisingly big news that Apple has been making a big deal of the new iPhone privacy feature, with a TV ad campaign showing users just how intruding ad tracking is. In his interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook says that privacy is a fundamental human right—and he’s undoubtedly correct.
Let’s hope Apple’s new iPhone feature will be a long-term success. For more Apple and Tech news, keep reading our latest articles.
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