Apple Works To Remove Activity Tracking
It is turning out to be far from the smoothest rollout. Not really what many fans expect from Apple. But it is slowly preparing to give users more control over their privacy and take some intrusion options away from advertisers. Originally set to be put in motion earlier this year, Apple is now looking a couple of months out to release its update of iOS 14. The notable change affects what is known as the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). It's a bit of code that allows advertisers to track you and then feed targeted advertisements to your screen. The new Apple process will require apps to obtain your express opt-in permission to send you ads and information based on your online activity.
Many advertisers and online platforms are taking a dim view of it all. Advertisers have used their IDFA to give them feedback about the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. They can also be used by platforms to charge advertisers based on traffic and response. It’s a big deal. Big enough that a group of businesses in France that rely heavily on internet ads and sales have joined together filing an antitrust action. Facebook has not been quiet about its unhappiness with it all. It claims advertising revenue could be cut as much as 50% by the change. In the wake of all the commotion, Apple decided to delay the rollout to give app designers a little more time to react and rewrite. But it is still happening.
This week, Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser and the popular Thunderbird email program has made another public push for support for the Apple change. The Mozilla Foundation is sending emails to users saying, “We need a massive outpouring of support for Apple's decision to help strengthen its resolve to protect consumer privacy.” Mozilla has a link on the page and embedded in its email asking users to, "Sign this thank you to let Apple know consumers are eagerly anticipating anti-tracking protection on iPhone." Mozilla earlier asked Apple to change the unique ID’s on a monthly basis. But Apple went a few steps further with the new approach. Mozilla leaders call the anti-tracking move by Apple a “huge win for consumers.”
Last year, Mozilla urged Apple to reset the unique IDs used to serve interest-based ads in the App Store and Apple News apps on a monthly basis. Mozilla now says that Apple "went even further than what Mozilla supporters had asked for," calling the planned anti-tracking changes a "huge win for consumers."