Advertisers call out Apple's 'hypocrisy' over ad tracking

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in iOS
The Interactive Advertising Bureau has used its annual conference to accuse Apple of "cynicism and hypocrisy" over how it treats advertisers compared to its own ad business.




Speaking at the organization's 2023 leadership meeting on Marco Island, Florida, CEO David Cohen said that the trade group was ready to confront Apple. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) members include Google and Meta, and Cohen said that Apple's app tracking transparency continued to represent a growing threat.

According to AdAge, Cohen has accused Apple of using double standards. Where a user has to be asked for permission for a third-party advertiser to track them, Apple's own services ask them to accept only "personalization."

"While there are no shortage of extremists attacking our industry from the outside, there are some attacking it from the inside out," said Cohen at the conference. "Most notably, Apple exemplifies the cynicism and hypocrisy that underpins the prevailing extremist view."

Speaking to AdAge ahead of the meeting, Cohen said that Apple is not interested in a "fair fight," and that it had ignored the industry.

"It can't be that 'personalization' in the Apple ecosystem equals 'tracking' outside of it," he said. "We were imploring them to not go with this kind of language around tracking... the very binary 'turn on,' 'turn off' [choices]."

"Apple basically said, 'Thank you for the feedback,' and they did what they did," continued Cohen. "[They] have not been back to the industry table again."

"So, we want to call it out for the hypocrisy that it is, and we want to invite them back to the table," he said.

Apple has not responded to Cohen's remarks, but it has previously argued that its privacy features are not intended to boost its own business at the expense of others. However, Apple's ad business has grown significantly while others have fallen.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,923member
    There's no way the ad guys are going to get what they want. If Apple is tracking users without consent then the solution is to stop Apple from doing that, not to allow advertisers to do it too. 

    Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. 




    darbus69Oferkkqd1337JaiOh81watto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 9
    If Apple are tracking me without me knowing I want them to stop too!
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Ad men accuse others of hypocrisy. That’s rich. Hypocrisy is basically advertising’s business model. 
    lolliverJaiOh81watto_cobraFileMakerFellern2itivguy
  • Reply 4 of 9
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,564member
    The moment you buy anything from Apple and you give them your name address, phone number, and the normal bits of information needed to buy something from a store, however ad companies appear to consider that basically a ad? Despite the fact that Apple is not sharing that information with anyone else.

    Apple will always be one up on the Internet tracking companies (Google, Facebook) because they sell a products whereby information has to be exchanged in the normal way when you buy something from someone (a store). So the crying will never stop similar to what is happening with Epic or Spotify.
    JaiOh81lolliverwatto_cobraFileMakerFellermjtomlindarelrex
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Apple and the ad agencies are going to have to be much more specific on what and how personal information is being used. General arguments are not going to cut it, at least for me. 

    Plenty of tracking is happening as it is. Youtube and Facebook definitely tracks what is see. For example, I've watched Simple White Underbelly interviews recently and now many individual interviews are showing up on Youtube. I'm okay with that, as these interviews are quite informative. That's tracking which I don't find problematic. I'm not seeing ads or other content. 

    At the same time, I'm not seeing any e-mails, messages, that are related to any content I've seen through Apple products, such as News+. 
    edited January 24 watto_cobracropr
  • Reply 6 of 9
    "While there are no shortage of extremists attacking our industry from the outside, there are some attacking it from the inside out," said Cohen at the conference. "Most notably, Apple exemplifies the cynicism and hypocrisy that underpins the prevailing extremist view."
    And what is this "extremist view" - wanting to protect the privacy of potential consumers of advertising? Is it cynicism to note the technical workings of surveillance capitalism and declare the system to be against the better interests of society in general? Is it hypocrisy to offer an advertising product that does not follow the surveillance model?

    There is some merit to the argument that Apple is being hypocritical by conducting surveillance on its own users while decrying surveillance in the advertising industry. Both sides can convincingly argue that the information is used to improve the products they make; Tim Cook is famously focused on customer satisfaction and advertisers don't want to waste money so the industry is incentivised to maximise efficiency. For me it comes down to what is being enabled: Apple customers generally get their lives improved and the cost to society is the same as any other manufacturing industry (although possibly a lower cost than some similar businesses impose), while advertising industry customers apparently get a better return on their investment and the cost to society is emotional unease and a loss of privacy.

    "So, we want to call it out for the hypocrisy that it is, and we want to invite them back to the table," he said.
    Basic internet troll behaviour: "Hey, hypocrite, how dare you stop talking to me - this discussion is not over!"
  • Reply 7 of 9
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,590member
    It can't be that 'personalization' in the Apple ecosystem equals 'tracking' outside of it,

    Umm, it absolutely can when Apple sold the user the product and that product offers certain features that need to know what the user is doing. Features that the user expects to work in a certain way. Personalization, organization and automation cannot work if there's no access to user data and actions.

    The main issue shouldn't be about tracking it should be about why tracking is necessary and what that data is being used for and advertisers only need it for one reason.


    darelrex
  • Reply 8 of 9
    If you banked at Chase, Chase would certainly not share your name, address, transaction history, etc. with third parties — no matter how badly those third parties wanted that information — without first getting your explicit permission. But Chase is going to have all that information! You give it to them by choosing to use their bank. The only question they might need to ask you is whether they can use that information for some particular purpose. So, of course, the user-acceptance question will be a little different for Chase than it will be for any third parties.

    There's no way for Apple to be on a level playing field with third parties when the user voluntarily chooses to buy, use, and carry around an iPhone, but does not necessarily choose that level of information intimacy with any particular third-party advertiser.
    edited January 25
  • Reply 9 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,619member
    I know some of you will be shocked, but … the advertising guys are being a wee bit disingenuous here!

    Their idea of what Apple gathers about users appears to be based on what *they* try to gather about users, i.e. that Apple is doing exactly what they want to do, only getting away with it.

    That’s what we call a logical fallacy.
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