Twitter CFO says iOS 14 privacy changes could level the playing field

in General Discussion
Twitter CFO Ned Segal says the company feels confident about Apple's planned iOS 14 privacy changes, and added that the feature could allow Twitter to better compete with its rivals.

Credit: Wall Street Journal
Credit: Wall Street Journal

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference, Segal said that Twitter feels good about its ability to leverage "the unique signal that Twitter has with a growing audience, with better formats and more relevance and the ability to better leverage that signal, much of which isn't tied to a device ID."

The Twitter CFO added that the changes to the Identifier for Advertisers tag, which are slated to roll out in the spring, could actually allow the social media company to compete more effectively against other social media platforms, according to CNBC

"IDFA in a way is going to level the playing field. We're in an industry where many were much better than Twitter historically at leveraging all of the data that was available to them, from the device ID to what people were doing on other websites," Segal said. "When we all have the same set of new challenges that we have to face, leveling the playing field will be a really interesting impact on the broader industry."

Instead of rushing to ask users to opt into IDFA tracking, Segal said that Twitter will instead wait and see how the change plays out.

"You only have one chance to ask somebody if you can have access to their device ID to show them more relevant ads. You want to ask in a really thoughtful way, and you want to take time to learn from the industry and the broader ecosystem before you ask a question like that," he said.

The iOS 14 privacy feature will make IDFA tracking strictly opt-in on a per-app basis. Some companies, including Facebook, have rallied against the feature, saying it'll hurt advertising revenue.

Twitter, for its part, said in February that the feature will have a "modest impact" on its revenue.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    for the long-term benefit, social media companies should stand on the right side of history, Twitter does a much better job than FB
  • Reply 2 of 5
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    for the long-term benefit, social media companies should stand on the right side of history, Twitter does a much better job than FB
    In this issue, maybe, but not in general. 
  • Reply 3 of 5
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 838member
    So Twitter has competitions???
  • Reply 4 of 5
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,038member
    Twitter is a much more valuable tool than Facebook by a country mile.

    There is really no competition for what Twitter does. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    I'm not a big fan of Twitter but it's good to see someone in the industry take a more level-headed response to Apple's customer privacy initiatives.

    He also brings up the point that too many people overlook when looking at social media services in isolation, e.g., Facebook, YouTube, etc. The biggest threat to individual privacy is really data fusion, where multiple data sources, social media and other, are aggregated into a centralized processing node of sorts where it can be used to "prosecute" targets (individuals and groups) against certain objectives. The whole notion of data fusion, and specifically sensor data fusion, has been an underlying theme in military circles for several decades and is used to great effect.

    As more and more data sources are created and as more of these sources are aggregated through mergers and partnerships, the ease of fusing the data only increases. Apple's initiatives will ultimately make it a little more difficult for Apple's customers to be targeted based on their use of Apple devices, but this will only reduce or remove one source of data from the process.

    Much of the talk about the threat of "Big Tech" is, imho, misdirected. The far greater threat is from "Big Data" and not "Big Tech." Apple's initiatives are really going after beating back the "Big Data" threat. In doing so, I believe that at least some of the same measures that could be implemented to reduce the threats from "Big Data" will actually reduce some of the negative perceptions about "Big Tech." In large part some of the "bigness" in "Big Tech" was established explicitly to make data fusion (of individuals and groups) far more efficient and effective for those who are using the aggregated and contextualized data. 
    edited March 2021 watto_cobra
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