Apple’s move to tighten the flow of user data makes advertisers uneasy


Apple’s move to tighten the flow of user data makes advertisers uneasy

The measure they fear to restrict access to data about users is a change that industry insiders see as an escalation of crackdowns on tech giants in

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The measure they fear to restrict access to data about users is a change that industry insiders see as an escalation of crackdowns on tech giants in the name of consumer privacy.

Apple’s changes revealed During the developer meeting on MondayThreatens to limit a company’s ability to track user web behavior and collect information about users from third parties such as data brokers.Announcement a few months later Apple curb Problems with in-app tracking have confused the digital advertising industry, and this change will be part of a new version of Apple’s operating system this fall.

Whereas previous moves affected only apps within Apple’s iOS operating system, the latest changes cover all forms of web traffic on Apple devices, leading advertisers, email marketers, publishers, Ad tech companies anticipate a wider range of impacts.

Apple’s change is “a big step towards increasing the walls of the garden by ensuring that all access to the outside world is proxied by them,” said Innovid Inc, chief technology officer of ad tech company. Tal Charozin said.

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, explained that Monday’s move protects users from data collection practices that many are unaware of. “We believe that we can protect your privacy, give you transparency and control your information.

By default, Apple blocks users’ Internet Protocol addresses from being sent to websites accessed with the Safari browser. Many businesses collect a user’s IP address and combine it with other data to create a “fingerprint” to recognize the user’s repeated visits. This is often to support personalized advertising. Apple has banned fingerprinting in Safari for years, but the user’s IP address is public. By blocking them, Apple can better enforce the ban and deprive fingerprint collectors of unique data points that identify Safari users.

According to a March survey by Statista, Safari has about 19% of the world’s browser market share, second only to Google’s Chrome.

“Tracker IP blocking is a monumental development and can be nailed to a user-centered profiling casket. Without an IP address to track, tracking companies can uniquely identify users in a commercially reliable way. “It cannot be specified,” said Eric Seufert, digital marketing strategist and consultant.

Industry watchers are already wondering if Apple’s change will put pressure

Alphabet Of a corporation

Google takes the same step. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that search giants are considering a similar move to block IP addresses in Chrome browsers.

Apple also offers advanced IP blocking through a paid service that covers the IP addresses of all your devices. A new premium version of the existing iCloud storage service, iCloud +, includes a feature called “Private Relay.” This feature redirects a user’s web traffic to multiple servers, obfuscating the user’s IP address and preventing fingerprinting. Available anywhere in the world except China, this product anonymizes Internet traffic, much like a virtual private network.

Apple’s hardware, software, and services work so well that they are often referred to as “walled gardens.” This idea is at the heart of recent antitrust scrutiny and the Epic vs. Apple proceedings. Joanna Stern of the WSJ went to a real walled garden and explained everything.Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan / Wall Street Journal

According to Statista, the VPN market is expected to reach $ 31.1 billion in 2021. Companies often employ VPNs. A VPN creates some sort of tunnel between your device and the online services you access, keeping your connection direct and private. Consumers often use them to display streaming content that is not available in their home area.

Apple said iCloud users who have already paid for additional storage and other features of the service can receive iCloud + at no additional charge.

Alex Austin, CEO of mobile advertising measurement firm Branch Metrics, said, “Private relays can do far more damage to the advertising ecosystem than Apple limits apps earlier this year. “. However, he warned that some details remained unknown. “If IP were to go away altogether, it would be very difficult for many companies to run their businesses,” he said.

Apple is also cracking down on email tracking. Most marketing emails contain hidden pixels that can be identified when the recipient opens the email. These trackers can also collect information such as the user’s IP address and tell marketers when and where the message was opened.

With the advent of chatbots and social media influencers, email continues to be a core tool for many companies to communicate with loyal customers, attract new customers, and raise brand awareness. .. Apple’s changes could slow down its usefulness, ad executives said, and some were surprised that tech giants extended data tracking limits to users’ inboxes.

“It’s very difficult for brands to determine if their email is working,” said Nii Ahene, chief strategy officer at digital advertising firm Tinuiti Inc. problem. “There is no winner here. The only winner is Apple.”

Apple says it benefits users by increasing the transparency and control of how they use data about their online behavior.

Email marketing has also become an important tool for retailers, public relations firms, publishers, and political candidates. According to eMarketer, businesses are expected to spend $ 535.6 million on email advertising in the United States this year, up 10% from 2020.

Publishers are pursuing new audiences and revenue streams through editorial newsletters, and many media companies impose high prices on the ads they display. Publishers use tracking pixels to collect information such as the number of subscribers who have opened your newsletter. Advertisers often mention open rates when negotiating sponsorship agreements.

Some spokeswoman said Apple’s new rules would make it difficult to show clients efforts to get media coverage, but some executives oppose the use of trackers.

“I’ve long felt that this is a bad practice because it only sows distrust,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of public relations firm Edelman.

Write to Patience Hagin in And Sae Yamamoto Vranica

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