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Apple's security and identifier for advertising update
Apr 16, 2021

Apple’s identifier for advertising & privacy update shouldn’t leave you panicking

Mark Cluett illumin author
Author Mark Cluett

Apple’s upcoming iOS 14.5 privacy update aims to enhance user transparency and control over the iOS device identifier used for a variety of digital activities, otherwise known as “IDFA” (or, Identifier For Advertising).

What Apple’s privacy update is not doing

Apple is not eliminating the IDFA altogether. It is making the use of identifier for advertising a user choice, by forcing application developers to provide notice and transparency regarding data collection and tracking practices in order to gain explicit consent from the user.

What Apple’s privacy update is doing

Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy update is anticipated imminently (i.e. in the next couple of weeks), which is when iPhone users can expect prompts to opt-in to tracking services for each individual app.

“[Users will] see a simple pop-up that basically prompts them to answer the question of, are they OK with being tracked or not? If they are, things move on. If they’re not, then the tracking is turned off for that individual with respect to that specific app… The developer can put essentially other information in there. Maybe they say that it’s for better ads or better-targeted ads or whatever. All we want to do is supply a tool so that the person that should make the decision can make it.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. Moving forward, developers will have to consider how they engage, motivate or incentivize consumers to understand the benefit of opting in.

How can advertisers prepare for the update?

First, advertisers should consider whether or not they are impacted by the update. Closely monitor the conversion performance of campaigns on Apple devices and be prepared to look for changes once the release has been issued. Speak with your digital advertising partner to ensure you have full visibility into any changes in campaign performance so you can quickly react if needed.

App developers and publishers should be considering the value proposition of their data collection and how to communicate this with users. There are a number of benefits to enabling tracking services like receiving more relevant advertisements, content, and improving the overall user experience. The ability to communicate this will become paramount in the new OS experience.

Apple identifier for advertising update

Why shouldn’t we panic over this identifier for advertising?

The iOS update makes tracking a user’s choice and it is important to note that IDFA on mobile devices will not disappear completely.

As Apple’s iOS 14.5 update is already currently in beta, we do have some initial estimates and understanding of app tracking acceptance on the part of users, and the news is better than expected.

Devices on older OS’s, as well as all other OS’s (85% on Android worldwide), as well as anyone who opt-in will still have IDFA’s. iOS market share in the United States currently stands at 45.9%. Once iOS 14 has been released, the general impact can be determined by opt-in rates among iPhone users.

When using 3rd party/persona data, the disappearance of IDFA will adversely affect the ability to do frequency/recency targeting as the Device ID is not passed. This will impact both targeting and conversion tracking on Apple devices.

This being said, there are many other strategies used to sustain scale and performance.

In addition, illumin is working with industry partners to integrate new identity solutions that will offer our clients scalable, reliable, and privacy-safe alternatives to traditional behavioral tracking technology for the success of your digital campaigns. For example, illumin, our proprietary ad automation platform, has been integrated with several identity solutions already.

If you want to learn more about digital privacy, identifier for advertising, and the cookieless world, check out a few pieces regarding cookieless technology and digital advertising:

See for yourself

illumin will continue to optimize digital advertising across all devices with trackable identifier for advertising. Try illumin today and learn more about our standards for sustainable addressability across all devices and platforms.