Apple CEO Tim Cook says that customers’ feedback on App Tracking Transparency is “overwhelmingly positive”. He reiterated that privacy is a basic human right and no one should get decide how users’ data is shared, not Apple or any other company.
Apple introduced the new privacy feature ‘App Tracking Transparency’ (ATT) in iOS 14.5 and for the first time, iPhone users go to decide if they want apps to track their online activity across third-party apps and websites by opting-in app tracking. Although the feature is designed to give users control of their data, it drastically impacts the ad revenue of digital advertisers like Facebook who often use invasive means to track users’ activity to show targetted ads.
Therefore, since the announcement of the App Tracking Transparency feature, Facebook (now called Meta) and other digital advertisers have strongly criticized and opposed it. Recently at its earnings call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg bemoaned $29 billion ad revenue as headwind of ATT feature. He also said that Apple’s ATT is hurting millions of small businesses.
Unlike Facebook, Apple’s iOS consumers are satisfied with the App Tracking Transparency privacy feature
Analyst at Cowen & Company, Krish Sankar asked Mr.Cook about customers’ response to the App Tracking Transparency feature at the Q4 2021 earnings call. He said:
The feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive. Customers appreciate having the option of whether they want to be tracked or not. And so the — there’s an outpouring of customer satisfaction there on the customer side. And the reason that we did this is that — as you know, if you followed us for a while, we believe strongly that privacy is a basic human right and we believed that for decades, not just in the last year or so.
And we’ve historically rolled out more and more features over time for — to place the decision of whether to share data and what data to share in the hands of the user where we believe that it belongs. We don’t think that’s Apple’s role to decide, and we don’t think that’s another company’s role to decide, but rather the individual who owns the data itself. And so that’s our motivation there. There’s no other motivation.
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