✅ Apple’s Strange Policy Move
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated three years ago, “Privacy is a fundamental human right.” That has always been a strong component of the Apple experience, but it appears as though Apple is banking on it to demonstrate how it differentiates itself from competitors.
Apple sells advertisements on a small number of its apps and does not receive a cut of revenue from third-party iOS apps. Its rivals – Facebook and Google – rely significantly more on advertising revenue in their business models.
Apple announced during the 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that iOS 14 would introduce a change to data tracking. It would require iOS applications to disclose the data they collect and allow users to opt out. It finally implemented it this spring with the release of iOS 14.5.
Facebook has been outspoken in its opposition to Apple’s plan. In December, it said Apple’s intention was to “force businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, meaning Apple will profit and many free services will have to start charging or exit the market.”
However, Facebook asserted that it was looking out for the little guy and not for its own interests. Facebook emphasised that Apple’s “App Tracking Transparency” would be detrimental to small businesses already struggling due to the pandemic. According to the social media giant, one of its studies indicated that small businesses could see a 60% decline in website sales as a result of Apple’s new feature.
Report: Advertisers Working More with Android now
Apple’s new feature requires apps to request permission to track their users. As an iOS user, I can confirm that I am opting out. I allow tracking for some apps that I trust and believe my data would benefit from, but I opt out of tracking for the majority of others.
As a result, I leave tracking enabled in general but disable it for specific apps. When given the choice between assisting developers and protecting my privacy, I’m choosing privacy, and I’m not alone. According to Branch Metric Inc., an advertising measurement company, less than 33% are opting in.
Advertisers’ purchases of Apple ads are now much less targeted. Advertisers claim that Facebook’s tools in its social media products are ineffective because iOS users are opting out of data sharing.
The literal and figurative million-dollar question is how this will impact the business model of the technology industry. Advertisers are migrating to Android, but Apple does not rely on advertising to make money – its third-party app developers do, and they do not appear to care that users’ privacy is being compromised. Will this result in a decline in the number of developers working with Apple? Or will the outcome simply be a shift in the business model of a technology company? Do let us know your views in this in the comment section below.
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