Apple iOS 14.5 introductions include a few updated privacy features that may or may not appeal to certain users and advertisers.
Getting spammed by eerily personalized advertisements as you go about your day to day web searches is commonplace in this day and age. These relevant adverts have become extremely common throughout spaces all over the internet, but the release of Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature may just change that.
By putting limitations on the data tracking schemes that targeted advertising thrives off with the help of just about everybody’s app use, Apple is bound to create a significant impact on today’s modern strategies for online advertising.
What does it do?
According to ZD Net, the iOS 14.5 ATT is designed to ask for user consent before proceeding with any data collection from its respective user’s internet activity. To simplify, should a user select “Ask app not to track”, ATT then blocks app developers from obtaining any data about their online behavior beyond that particular app’s services.
This essentially will deny developers access to users’ Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), an iOS-attributed software-based identifier that tracks user activity over websites and apps. Without permission to operate with a user’s IDFA, advertisers become unable to formulate a profile of their specific interests, consequently resulting in difficulties sending the most personally convincing ads their way.
More on data tracking and further ATT effects
One widely-used technique of data collection is to establish trackers within different websites and apps. Apple says that, on average, an app contains six trackers that let third parties receive information from them. By taking all of a user’s collected data into account, the ideal timing to pop just the right ad in front of them and get it noticed becomes easily predictable.
The enablement of ATT can also stop apps from extending user information to data brokers who take or purchase information from companies, especially social media, and concentrate these massive amounts of data into finely-tailored consumer profiles; perfect for targeted advertising. Apple notes that certain brokers have created about 700 million worldwide consumer profiles of roughly 5,000 characteristics per person.
Apple prides itself on privacy
Being a strong potential catalyst for upsetting the regular flow of online advertising is not new to Apple, as the tech giant doesn’t gain much from it to begin with. By relying primarily on selling off its world-class services and products, it’s practically free to do as it pleases in terms of data-sharing allowance.
Apple has long been innovating products in support of privacy protection, as can be observed in their iOS, MacOS, and Safari programs’ intelligent tracking prevention and cookie-blocking abilities.
Even earlier versions of the iOS 14 already contained the “privacy nutrition label”; a feature that condenses an app’s collected information and explains just how developers use data obtained from it.
Though ATT may leave numerous ad developers scratching their heads, Apple’s iOS 14.5 is sure to gain favor amongst customers who will be more than pleased to have better say in not only who gets to see their data, but also how it gets used.
Like anything, personalized advertisements have always had their ups and downs; some may lead to rather satisfying purchases, while others are no more than unnecessary distractions. Either way, having a better sense of control over one’s own privacy is a pretty straightforward pro of Apple’s ATT. To support the company’s endeavors in making further progress in terms of protecting privacy, invest in products such as the Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Wired) and the Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display.