Apple IOS Update Allows Users to Opt Out of Tracking by IDFA Code

The Economist May 1, 2021 |Digital advertising|”Flying blind” “Apple’s privacy rules force marketers to find new ways to target ads”



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Apple’s new operating systems removes the behind-the-scenes tracking of users commercial browsing by forcing “apps to ask users if they want to be tracked.” So, in this way Apple user’s privacy will be improved such that one will not experience so much “coincidental” follow-up advertising. Such tracking is triggered by an IDFA code (Identifier for Advertiser Code-Unique to the user’s device), that when applied allows companies to follow a user’s device activity. For example, if you looked at an item on a web-store and didn’t buy, if you opt out of tracking, you won’t see subsequent ads following you all over the internet thereafter.


As digital advertising constitutes “more than 60% of global ad[s]” and growing rapidly many companies mostly small and some large are concerned about this change. The larger companies, with their own data, like Amazon from purchases and Google from terms users agree upon when typing “into its search bar” are less concerned. Facebook, knows plenty about its members but little about “their shopping needs” and is working to “create a closed loop of its own” with the introduction of Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops. “Smaller publishers with few data and resources will suffer” says Nicole Perrin (eMarketer) and those “that rely on third party cookies will be hit the hardest.” To access iPhone users, 50% of American Smart Phones, companies may experience declines with their own direct-to-consumer marketing and may have to rely partly on Amazon, Facebook Shops, Instragram Shops and others. According to AppsFlyer “an ad-tech company, found that iPhone users agreed to tracking more than 40% of the time from shopping and finance apps, but 12% of the time with casual gaming apps.” The impact is likely to result in more spending on less efficient advertising.