Ad group urges 'dialogue' with Apple about iOS 14 privacy features

in General Discussion edited September 2020
A group representing digital media and advertising industry organizations has penned an open letter to Apple urging the tech giant engage in dialogue before instituting potentially restrictive iOS 14 privacy changes.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

The letter, signed by The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, is a reaction to Apple's new policies that make certain user tracking tags opt-in on a per-app basis in iOS 14. That policy has sparked backlash from marketers and advertisers who claim it will negatively impact ad revenue from iOS devices.

Specifically, the changes in iOS 14 apply to Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) tags, which allow advertisers to collect aggregate data about users without harvesting their personally identifiable information. In iOS 14, Apple is requiring that apps and advertisers obtain permission from users to "track them across apps and websites" owned by other companies through a prominent pop-up box.

While the letter praises Apple's decision to delay enforcement of the new privacy features, it requests an "urgent meeting ensure we use that additional time to launch a collaborative process to address widespread questions and concerns around those upcoming changes."

While the organization says they share Apple's support for consumer privacy, it claims that -- without a dialogue -- the proposed changes could have a "negative impact on both consumers and businesses."

"In particular, we hope to better understand the specific rationale for such changes, how the changes will be implemented, and what steps might be taken by marketers, publishers, app developers, and other parties to ensure that critical functionality is preserved," the letter reads.

The letter claims that Apple's privacy features could have a negative impact on ad-funded apps, news organizations, and "ad-supported innovation and competition."

As far as the dialogue, the partnership hopes to ask Apple several questions, including:

  • How advertisers could cap ad frequency on Apple devices.

  • Whether apps will be allowed to require IDFA activation.

  • What changes Apple "might consider" to the new IDFA policy.

  • Whether Apple will allow the use of IDFA for non-targeting purposes.

  • Future privacy systems advertisers could use to "reach groups of users with common interests."

  • Whether Apple will apply the same IDFA policy to its own apps and services.
Although initially slated for a release with iOS 14, Apple has since pushed rollout of the opt-in mechanism to 2021.


  • Reply 1 of 35
    How about, "We let you get away with too much for too long and you can't seem to self govern so we will do it for you and provide our users with how their information is used and the ability to opt out."

    Is that clear enough?
    peterhartmwhitebluefire1agilealtitudeAnilu_777bageljoeymcdavesteven n.baconstangd_2
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    While the organization says they share Apple's support for consumer privacy …
    No. You don’t. 

    • Whether apps will be allowed to require IDFA activation.

    I imagine so. Though I will immediately delete any app that has such a requirement. 

    • Whether Apple will allow the use of IDFA for non-targeting purposes.

    That would require a level of trust you simply haven’t earned. 

    I see I’m going to need a smaller violin. 
    edited September 2020 mwhiteAnilu_777docbburkaderutterdrdavidgeekmeesteven n.baconstangbestkeptsecretcaladanian
  • Reply 3 of 35
    Is there a petition by Apple users to urge Apple to implement the privacy feature?
    peterhartbluefire1Anilu_777mac_dogdocbburkaderuttermacseekersteven n.baconstangSpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Is there a petition by Apple users to urge Apple to implement the privacy feature?
    That would be a good idea, though I don’t think Apple is going to change tack. They often delay sweeping changes like this to give developers more time to implement them. 
    edited September 2020 mwhitecaladanianwatto_cobralongpath
  • Reply 5 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,048member
    I'm only guessing here, but I would think a majority of Internet bandwidth in use today is all back-end advertising junk going back and forth.  All that bandwidth being wasted on data used to track us and use us as their product.

    The industry has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted to police itself.  

    I just love the thought that Apple - a minority player in the smartphone market - has the advertising industry shaking in their boots. 

  • Reply 6 of 35
    Kudos to Apple for again putting the best interest of its customers first!
  • Reply 7 of 35
    “The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media“

    Lost me at ‘Responsible’. There has been little evidence of that principle. Next. 
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Kudos to Apple for again putting its users first! I agree with the posters above - the ad industry has gotten away with too much for too long and with no oversight. Now they will have to justify their actions. I don’t anticipate it being pretty. 
  • Reply 9 of 35
    They are crying and begging for mercy. For some reason it makes me think of this video with 30 million views:

    Also, the accuracy of the name "The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media" reminds me of the accuracy of this other name, "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (North Korea's name.) However North Korea's name has two or three inaccurate words, while their name has only one inaccurate word.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Apple is informing its users about advertisers' practices, and giving them the choice whether they wish to opt in.  Entirely appropriate.

    But the sad thing is, despite the teeth gnashing and fear mongering being propagated by the ad industry, many, if not most users will grant permission anyway, in the same way they tacitly consent when utilizing "free" services from companies that abuse their data collection and usage policies, and continue to do so even if informed about what occurs.

    Privacy is just not something many care about, or care enough about to influence their actions.  I know perfectly intelligent people who recognize the shadiness of FB, and what it has perpetrated, but continue to use it anyway, and rationalize that by "oh, I don't log on as much as I used to…blah blah blah."  The same people who have given me a hard time for never registering a FB account.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,431member
    I hope there’s a Block everything and don’t ask me again setting.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    The audacity of them to try to say they are responsible and act like a victim.  How about taking your lumps and quit being creepy.  Tracking what we are doing across multiple apps without the user specifically clicking “yes, it is ok to track me across applications for advertising purposes”shouldn’t be allowed in the first place.  Sneaking this crap in by saying “it improves user experience” is las honest as saying “smoke these cigarettes, it will help us monitor your breathing to improve your meditation”.  
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Here's quite an interesting article about iOS 10's (September 2016) Limited Ad Tracking feature. It shows that about 18% of users worldwide have enabled it. From what I've read in the news that could go up to 50% now with the next iOS update to IDFA tracking tags. These pages come from some private company's website and I have no idea whether they are biased or not, but it seems to be fair, although they see to sell a product to advertisers that helps to get around Apple's restrictions. <-- <-- <-- where this feature is enabled
    edited September 2020 frantisekwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 35
    It's fairly simple: Make the app not work unless the user agrees to be tracked.

    That way it's truly an informed choice, and not just something hidden five pages deep in legalese.

    If you have a problem with that solution, then you have a problem with the users being aware of your ways of tracking and collecting their data.

    (Oh, how I love hearing about these people squirm; basically the only good news I get in 2020.)
  • Reply 15 of 35
    “The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media“

    Lost me at ‘Responsible’. There has been little evidence of that principle. Next. 
    Lost me at Partnership!
  • Reply 16 of 35
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,925member
    No thanks. I’d like Apple to keep putting customer interests before supplier interests.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    My response to the advertisers: “GET OUT OF MY LIFE! The government is bad enough”. 
  • Reply 18 of 35
    It sounds like an effort begging for a caption.
    Any suggestions?
  • Reply 19 of 35
    "The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media" about oxymorons!

    Other than Apple's apps, I use VERY few "free" apps.  I always opt for the ad free / pro version... it's worth the couple of bucks.  I don't know how much my info would be worth if I'm paying to not see ads.  Not much I'd guess?
    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 35
    Dear Ad Companies,

    Here's the dialogue on this:

    You don't have and never had the right to track us like you do.  There's nothing special about being on the web that ever gave your the right to stalk us and/or sell our information to others.  Somehow TV, radio and print advertising has managed to survive all these years without being able to snoop on everything we do.  You will live without this information also.

    Get over it.

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