App tracking alert in iOS 13 has dramatically cut location data flow to ad industry

Posted:
in iOS edited January 2020
Apple's initiatives to minimize tracking by marketers is continuing to make life harder for the advertising industry, forcing advertisers to use inefficient data sources to pinpoint users.




Over the years, Apple has enhanced how it protects the privacy of its users online, typically by limiting what data can be seen by advertisers tracking different data points. Initiatives such as Intelligent Tracking Protection in Safari has helped secure more privacy by making it harder to track individual users, which advertising executives in December admitted has been "stunningly effective."

While ITP and other improvements have helped to minimize the tracking of users, marketers are also being affected by another element of iOS 13, one where users are regularly notified of apps that are capturing their location in the background. The warning gives options for users to allow an app to continue to track all the time or to do so when it is open, with users often selecting the latter.

According to data from location-verification firm Location Sciences seen by DigiDay, approximately seven in ten iPhone users analyzed by the company downloaded iOS 13 in its first six weeks of availability. Of those users who installed the update, around 80% of them stopped all background tracking by apps.

Ad tracking company Teemo suggests the opt-in rates to share data with apps when not in use are often below 50%, whereas three years ago, the same rates were close to 100%. The higher rates were due to it being a time when users were largely unaware there were options to disable tracking in the first place.

"People have decided to stop their phones' sharing location data at a universal level," Location Sciences chief business officer Jason Smith admitted.






The trend of disabling tracking makes it harder for firms to rate the effectiveness of campaigns, Starcom managing partner Paul Kasamias suggests. The change impacts "the ability to tie users that research online and purchase in store," as well as making measuring footfall in stores a "far more opaque" process for clients.

A drop in advertiser spending is likely to occur from small or medium-sized advertisers, Kasamias believes, as they are clients "where cost efficiency is paramount and there is a physical footprint, as targeting the right user at the right time will become more difficult."

The change has already led to a reduction in "sales pitches from providers of location-data solutions," Havas Media EVP Sargi Mann claimed, with there being more of a need to address the location issue "transparently up front as part of bigger deals" with marketers.

Despite the reduced amount of location data available, the amount that is still available to use is more valuable, while the market for location data continues to thrive.

"We're still being approached by location data businesses that are telling us they're growing, said Rippll CEO Doug Chisholm. "More importantly, they have more data than they did a year ago."

The quality of that data is still a problem, as ad buyers notice it is of a lower quality than data that was previously available. According to Smith, Location Sciences is seeing less location data derived from a smartphone's GPS, "which is the most precise source of mobile location data."

Instead, Smith highlights the presence of "lower quality data" sourced from carriers or other Internet protocols. "Often the least accurate sources of mobile location data available" to a marketer in his opinion.

The reduction of available data may get worse for marketers, as Apple has urged developers to use "Sign in with Apple" in apps, as an alternative to authentication systems offered by Google and Facebook. While Apple's system will make it harder to track individual users with less data offered to firms, data collection will still be possible for the firms involved.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    I like Apple's verification still offered by Privacy/Location coded arrows. Wish there was something analogous in apps for Privacy/Microphone. I have perhaps a half dozen apps that I give microphone access via the binary toggle.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,222member
    Good, tell those bloody marketers to fuck off, and let them use the junk data gathered from privacy-ignorant Android users!
    JaiOh81jony0fotoformatbaconstangStrangeDaysdysamorialostkiwiwatto_cobrabadmonkelijahg
  • Reply 3 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Excellent.
    jony0baconstangStrangeDayslostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 55member
    Next step is access to a contact and pictures “folder” - not all contacts and all pictures.
    dysamorialostkiwiwatto_cobrafrantisek
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Excellent.
    but i don’t understand when they see any positive thing they share but they don’t share negative news about apple. 

    Apple nerfed anc capability but we can’t see any news on Apple insider,macrumours,9to5mac. They share just positive news about Apple.

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/apple/airpods-pro-truly-wireless

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/discussions/wViZzszsIKnys1e6/firmware-updates-causing-poor-anc-performance
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 6 of 16

    Good for Apple, but does its privacy agreement for using Siri still give Apple permission to sweep up all contact information?


    That's not only invasive to users who would like to use Siri for other purposes (not calling people), it also means that Apple is gathering data on people who haven't given their permission for Apple to have their information!


    Compounding this problem, one cannot use Apple CarPlay without turning on Siri -- a ridiculous requirement if one doesn't wish to use voice commands and isn't going to call any of one's contacts.


    Apple needs to do a better job of living up to its own privacy principles!


    A couple of years back, Apple also promised that Voice Dictation would be done locally, on people's devices, and not on their servers.  AFAIK, that still hasn't happened -- meaning that any dictation one does is gathered by Apple's servers and available for review by select Apple personnel.  That's not good for privacy, either!

  • Reply 7 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,455member
    yusufd84 said:
    Excellent.
    but i don’t understand when they see any positive thing they share but they don’t share negative news about apple. 

    Apple nerfed anc capability but we can’t see any news on Apple insider,macrumours,9to5mac. They share just positive news about Apple.

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/apple/airpods-pro-truly-wireless

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/discussions/wViZzszsIKnys1e6/firmware-updates-causing-poor-anc-performance
    Your thread jacking will gain you no friends here. We get it, you're pissed about some issue regarding noise cancellation on AirPods and don't understand why the usual Apple tech blogs aren't pounding on it. That's because it's NOT a big issue in the grand scheme of things. But you want to accuse everybody of ignoring negative reports about Apple. Bullshit! The entire tech blog universe lives and breathes to report negative things about Apple. So if the bug up your hind end were important it would be already being hammered away at by every single tech blog in the known universe. 
    edited January 2020 Rayz2016StrangeDayswatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Good, tell those bloody marketers to fuck off, and let them use the junk data gathered from privacy-ignorant Android users!
    Stop being an elitist!! I know a ton of ignorant Apple users that are just as dumb if not dumber than Android users. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 16
    LeoMC said:
    Next step is access to a contact and pictures “folder” - not all contacts and all pictures.
    I don't think this will ever happen, for no other reason than I've never heard anyone need it before. Just sounds like added complication for a niche use case, and that ain't how Apple rolls.
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Why has AppleInsider forums not implemented Sign In with Apple yet? Not that I don’t trust you guys and gals, but still...
    edited January 2020 lostkiwiwatto_cobraelijahg
  • Reply 11 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,255member
    The biggest point I take away from this story is how much data these companies were surreptitiously taking without people’s knowledge or true permission. The fact that the vast majority disabled it when they were informed of it and given the option to is a clear indicator that the companies really shouldn’t have had access to the data in the first place.
    dysamorialostkiwiwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 16
    apple2c said:

    Good for Apple, but does its privacy agreement for using Siri still give Apple permission to sweep up all contact information?


    That's not only invasive to users who would like to use Siri for other purposes (not calling people), it also means that Apple is gathering data on people who haven't given their permission for Apple to have their information!


    Compounding this problem, one cannot use Apple CarPlay without turning on Siri -- a ridiculous requirement if one doesn't wish to use voice commands and isn't going to call any of one's contacts.


    Apple needs to do a better job of living up to its own privacy principles!


    A couple of years back, Apple also promised that Voice Dictation would be done locally, on people's devices, and not on their servers.  AFAIK, that still hasn't happened -- meaning that any dictation one does is gathered by Apple's servers and available for review by select Apple personnel.  That's not good for privacy, either!

    Do you have any source for the statement that “Apple is gathering data on people”. From what I’ve read it’s just the opposite. 

    Forcing voice commands for CarPlay is a safety feature providing a way for using CarPlay without the need hand/eye interaction with the display.
    watto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 13 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,429member
    Good, I’m glad the advertising industry is miserable. I won’t even spare the tiniest violin for their sadness. They created this point by pushing too fucking far.

    As for the rest of this thread... After you guys got all arrogant against the person mentioning the problems with noise cancelation, there was an article posted here on AI that talks about it. It’s YOU, not the person with that criticism, that needs to step back. The defensiveness and protectionism around Apple via Apple fanatics is really out of hand here. You don’t own this forum just because you talk aggressively. Apple will never reward you for loyalty. 
    gatorguyelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Good, tell those bloody marketers to fuck off, and let them use the junk data gathered from privacy-ignorant Android users!
    Stop being an elitist!! I know a ton of ignorant Apple users that are just as dumb if not dumber than Android users. 
    In general, the Apple users are more avare about privacy issues. The circle of your acquaintances who you call dumb tells us something about you. "You're the average of the five people spend the most time with."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,259administrator
    yusufd84 said:
    Excellent.
    but i don’t understand when they see any positive thing they share but they don’t share negative news about apple. 

    Apple nerfed anc capability but we can’t see any news on Apple insider,macrumours,9to5mac. They share just positive news about Apple.

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/apple/airpods-pro-truly-wireless

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/discussions/wViZzszsIKnys1e6/firmware-updates-causing-poor-anc-performance
    We were one of the first to cover this last week.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/01/14/airpods-pro-firmware-update-sacrifices-noise-cancellation-quality-for-bass
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 16 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,259administrator
    hexclock said:
    Why has AppleInsider forums not implemented Sign In with Apple yet? Not that I don’t trust you guys and gals, but still...
    Because Apple doesn’t make it that easy for us, and our developers are pretty busy right now. More to come.
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