Apple is starting a war over privacy with iOS 14 – publishers are naive if they think it will back down

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iPhone users are about to receive access to Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 14. It will come with the usual array of shiny new features, but the real game-changer will be missing – at least until January.

For the first time, iOS 14 is to require apps to get permission from users before collecting their data – giving users an opt-in to this compromise to their privacy.

This caused a major backlash from companies that rely on this data to make money, most notably Facebook. So why did Apple decide to jeopardise the business models of major rivals and their advertisers, and will the postponement make any difference?

The backlash

The opt-in is not the only change in iOS 14 that gives users more privacy protection, but it has attracted the most attention. Privacy campaigners will applaud the move, but the reaction from the media business has been mixed. The likes of American online publishing trade body Digital Content Next thought it would potentially benefit members.

But Facebook warned the opt-in could halve publishers’ revenues on its advertising platform, while some publishers are loudly concerned. The owner of UK news site Mail Online, DMG Media, threatened to delete its app from the App …

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