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The latest in the tug of war between consumer privacy and effective digital advertising pits Apple against Facebook, Google, and others. At stake for ad tech: significant revenue for ad publishers and app developers, effective ad results for advertisers, and more relevant ads for consumers. At stake for users: consumer privacy protection, the use of their behavioral data for marketing, and possibly, the future of “free” software.
Apple’s pending release of iOS 14 is a strong consumer-privacy-first stance and a potential disruption to digital marketing as we know it. But what is the real impact for targeted digital advertising?
What is changing?
In a nutshell, Apple devices running iOS 14 will now require explicit user opt-in to allow apps to track behaviors across sites using the Identifier for Advertising, or IDFA. The IDFA ties a unique, random number to a user’s device, allowing advertisers and data companies to evaluate ad interactions on an aggregated basis. Blocking user tracking by third parties has already been a staple for privacy-first browsers for some time (Apple’s own Safari, Chromium-based Brave, the Tor browser, and others), and has been offered as an opt-out model within mobile operating systems as well. However, the shift …
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