An Apple a day keeps Big Tech at bay.
Apple confirmed that IOS 14’s privacy changes will be rolled out next week and it’s already being dubbed an “atomic bomb” for the likes of Facebook and Google.
We’ve compounded the PR reactions from around the world as the insane amount of content generated in the last week is slightly overwhelming. Here are our key takeaways and favourite bits:
Forbes provides an excellent dive into Apple’s new privacy stance. Our favourite part, a quick concise explanation of ATT;
“App Tracking Transparency (ATT) could effectively spell the end of the so-called identifier for advertisers (IDFA), a method used by apps to track you on your iPhone across apps and services. This is because in iOS 14.5, ATT introduces the requirement for apps to ask you if they want to track you across services. It might not be obvious, but you are being tracked all the time as you use apps and services — the average app has six trackers. And the data collected about you can be collected and sold online without your knowledge.
By highlighting this practice, ATT is set to really hurt the likes of Facebook, which tracks you across other apps and websites you visit using the IDFA. The IDFA also allows Facebook and its partners to see how successful ad campaigns have been. Did you see an ad on Instagram, search for the company via Google, and then buy from their website, for example.”
Tech aside, how does this actually work?
Glad you asked, Apple provided this mock-up on their site. It’s about as obvious as you get. Reuters predict between 40–60% of users will be opting out.
Whilst IOS 14.5 will reveal the incredible amount of data many apps harvest from their users, your inner sceptic may be asking why. Well, the FT does a great job of explaining.
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The iPhone maker already sells search ads for its App Store that allow developers to pay for the top result. In searches for “Twitter”, for example, the first result is currently TikTok. Apple now plans to add a second advertising slot, in the “suggested” apps section in its App Store search page. This new slot will be rolled out by the end of the month, according to one of the people, and will allow advertisers to promote their apps across the whole network, rather than in response to specific searches.”
What about Facebook?
Facebook has spent much of the last year growing louder in it’s criticism of Apple. Their take: Apple is hurting app developers, start-up’s and Facebook’s revenue.
Is it hypocritical that a company with a reputation for predatory practices and snubbing start-up’s to take this stance?
Is it a bad thing for companies, whose business models depend on consumers not understanding the agreements they sign, have to reshape the way they conduct business?
We love anything that will increase transparency in the data space and increase awareness. Is it a push to make Big Tech more accountable or an aggressive move to gain market share surrounded by excellent PR? We don’t know. For now, it seems to be a net positive event that’ll get everyone thinking about how their data is being used.