Wall Street Journal reports that ad advertisers are upset over the inability to track iPhone users’ online activity, mobile and accuse Apple of enjoying an “unfair advantage” to make its ad business profitable. As per the new privacy rules, the executives claim that if they purchase Apple’s ad space, then they will get more data about ad performance and this gives the Cupertino tech giant’s “small but growing ad business an edge over rivals.”
Apple rolled out the latest iOS 14.5 update to the public with many new features and improvements. But out of all the new features, the App Tracking Transparency update is the most important of all, at least for the mobile ad industry. ATT feature makes it mandatory for developers to ask for iPhone users’ permission to track their online activity across third-party apps and websites to show targeted ads.
Mobile ad industry assumes that Apple will boost its ad sales on its expense
In case users opt-out of tracking, Apple has designed an alternative for advertisers to measure advertisements’ effectiveness by signing up for Apple ad space. According to Wall Street Journal, advertisers fear that Apple is going to expand and make its ad sales profitable by selling better ad performance metrics than third-party providers.
“When targeting users who have opted out of tracking, advertisers who buy ads through third-party platforms will have to wait three days for insights on their campaigns and will receive only aggregate information, such as the total number of users who took an action after an ad.
Advertisers who buy Apple ad space can receive more data about user behavior, the people said. They can learn which version of their ads users saw and which search keywords ads appeared on, they said. Those advertisers will get results nearly in real time.”
Based on the assumption that the Cupertino tech company will use its position to expand its ad business, advertisers accuse the company of gaining an unfair advantage.
That could give Apple an edge in luring advertisers, especially if the tech company expands its ad business, ad-industry executives say. Right now, Apple sells search ads that appear in its App Store and display ads that appear in its News and Stocks apps.
Apple has always categorically denied allegations of impartiality in implementing the new privacy features, even the ATT update. In an interview with the publisher, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi said that none of the company’s native apps track users to create their data profiles or selling their data to other vendors, therefore, no Apple app or service will show the ATT prompt. He also added that, if an app ever did, it will also have to show the ATT ask permission prompt.
He further explained that over the years, users’ privacy was taken for granted and they never had the choice to opt-in tracking. Calling the new update a healthy change for the industry and the world, Federighi said that “they are not surprised by the “push back from some quarters. But at the same thing, we were completely confident that it’s the right thing to give users a choice here.” He added that personal information can be used, abused, and weaponized in several ways.