Ad targeting: Apple imposes its new policy, much to Facebook’s dismay

Two models collide in Silicon Valley: The electronics giant sells its smartphones, tablets and computers at high prices, while Facebook and Google offer free services, implicitly in exchange for internet user data, that are used to deliver ultra-targeted ads on a very large scale.

Civil society (associations, academics, etc.) has long criticized this dominant economic model, and has been regularly challenged by laws – in Europe and California – or less well-known companies.

However, the Apple brand, with billions of iPhones in use worldwide, has the potential to change habits.

Since September, publishers of apps running iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, can ask their users for permission to follow them as they move between different websites and apps to collect and use their data.

With the release of iOS 14.5 this week, this feature – known as ATT (App Tracking Transparency) – has become a commitment.

A disrupted ecosystem

Concretely, the approval window is displayed when opening every application. If the user clicks on Non Or if, for any reason, the window does not appear, the app loses access to that person’s advertising ID, which is a unique number that allows online tracking.

The entire economy of apps, and even digital ads, will be upended by this privacy policy.Freelance analyst, Eric Siouvert, notes in one of the blog posts.

It fundamentally changes the way ads are measured and targeted on mobile phones […], Currently based on what Apple calls tracking.

Many platforms and apps fear that the majority of internet users, who can choose now, will decide to decline.

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Offensive Facebook marketing

Facebook, in particular, is not launching.

The social media giant has embarked on a marketing attack in defense of personalized ads, with full pages in US dailies, testimonials from small businesses on a dedicated site and scathing statements from its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Apples act uncompetitivelyAsen president at the end of January during a conference of analysts on the annual results of the group (29 billion US dollars). [36 milliards de dollars canadiens] Net profit in 2020).

Many small and medium businesses [petites et moyennes entreprises] They will no longer be able to target their customers with personalized ads. Apple can say it is doing this to help people, but it is clearly in their interests, He continued.

Personal ads, although not tracked

However, even if internet users decline the tracking, the ads will still be personalized. Instagram will continue to deduce their tastes based on its app browsing and showing kibble ads to people who are keen on cats.

The apps will also use live data, such as age or location. However, they will likely not be able to exchange it with third parties, whether that involves cross-checking or selling it in a somewhat anonymous or lesser way.

We give internet users a choiceTim Cook, president of Apple, argued during a podcast interview in early April The New York Times.

Today if you were to design an operating system from scratch you would do it that way, and it shows.

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