Ad tracking line gets hot

Apple's Tim Cook (left) and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Apple’s Tim Cook (left) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

New features have been introduced to the iPhone and iPad this week, creating a major rift between Apple and Facebook.

This allows device users to say no to collecting data in any app.

Facebook spun on this because user data (and ads that Facebook can generate) makes the company very profitable. This update can have a serious impact on your business model.

What’s wrong?

This line focuses on a unique device identifier for all iPhones and iPads, called IDFA (Advertiser Identifier). Companies that sell mobile ads, such as Facebook, use this IDFA to both target their ads and estimate their effectiveness.

IDFA can also learn more about you in combination with other technologies that follow users on the web, such as Facebook’s tracking pixels and tracking cookies.

However, with the release of iOS 14.5 this week, the new App Tracking Transparency feature will be turned on by default. The app developer must explicitly ask the user for permission to use this IDFA.

According to a survey, Facebook admits that up to 80% say no.

If you want to know how much Facebook is already tracking you on other sites and apps, Useful tool On Facebook.

Why is Apple doing this?

Then a phone with digital information graphics that comes up

The amount of data shared from devices is becoming a new battlefield for tech giants.

Apple makes little interest in customer data because it makes money from device sales and in-app purchases, not from advertising. Moreover, it has always been marketed as a privacy-first company.

In 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs admitted that some people don’t care about the amount of data they share, but they always need to be informed how the data is being used. Said.

“Privacy means repeatedly knowing what people are signing up for in plain English … ask them and ask each time,” he said.

Nowadays, while many consider it a faint reference to Facebook, current CEO Tim Cook said: Our admiration. It deserves reform. “

Apple is imprinting privacy on its system. Its browser Safari already blocks third-party cookies by default, and last year Apple forced iOS app providers to elaborate on the data it collects in the App Store list.

And isn’t Facebook the most happy?

Smartphone social media app

Smartphone social media app

Facebook warns that updating the app could cut the money earned through the ad network in half. It will have the biggest impact on SMEs.

He also claims that sharing data with advertisers is the key to providing users with a “better experience.”

Apple also states that it is hypocritical. That’s because Apple has to rely on subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, from which Apple makes savings.

As is often the case when under pressure, Facebook is conducting a PR attack. It advertised in a national newspaper in December and talked about how small businesses survived the pandemic thanks to targeted advertising.

In the latest blog, Facebook seems to have accepted the change and promised a “new advertiser experience and measurement protocol.” We have allowed digital advertisers to collect and use the information they need to “evolve” into something that relies on “less data.”

Why do I need to care?

In recent years, governments and regulators have become increasingly concerned about how large and complex the ecosystem surrounding websites, apps and social media companies is.

Here are some things to consider:

  • According to a report commissioned by Apple, the average app contains six third-party trackers that exist solely for the purpose of collecting and sharing online data.

  • Some apps require access to more data than they need to provide the service.For example, TikTok Former British Children’s Commissioner sued To collect large amounts of child data

  • The UK Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating real-time bidders. The data is auctioned in milliseconds and billions of targeted online ads are automatically placed daily on web pages and apps.

  • According to research consultant Cracked Labs, it is estimated that one data broker has data on up to 700 million consumers.

What does the advertising industry say?

Most people think that change will come even without iOS updates.

Technology consultant Max Kalmykov Written in medium Advertisers needed to “prepare for the next era of privacy-focused digital advertising.”

This may include content-targeted ads, such as fashion-related ads, that only appear on fashion websites, rather than following people randomly across the web.

He suggested that advertising with podcasts and influencers would be another unobtrusive way to advertise.

Meanwhile, Apple says it supports the advertising industry and has introduced a new free tool that tells advertisers how successful the campaign is without revealing the identity of individual users.

Is there any other way to track people?

A flock of birds flying at sunset

Do you find anonymity and privacy in the crowd?

Even if the device is not uniquely numbered, it does not mean that it cannot be tracked.

Device fingerprints uniquely identify a device by combining certain attributes of the device, such as the operating system used, the type and version of the web browser, and the IP address of the device. It’s an imperfect art, but it’s an art that’s gaining attention in the advertising world.

The Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) may sound like a fantasy novel, but it’s actually Google’s idea of ​​how to keep track of people in a privacy-friendly way.

The idea is that FLoC-enabled browsers collect information about browsing habits and assign users to groups or groups with similar browsing history. Each shares an ID that indicates their interests to advertisers.

According to Mozilla, Firefox and others are not keen on this scheme. In danger The Electronic Frontiers Foundation, a privacy advocate, said this was a “terrible idea” and suggested that Google should ensure that browsers “work for users, not advertisers.”

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