Apple is introducing quite a polarizing new privacy feature in 2021. It will allow users to control whether their activities are being tracked and sent to advertisers or not. The opt-in feature will let users volunteer to send information to advertisers, as opposed to the current system where there is no other option than the advertisers tracking your online activity.
Advertisers are opposed to this new feature and say this will lead to a 50% drop in revenues. Along with small advertising agencies, Instagram and its parent company Facebook are also trying their level best to create a strong case against this new feature.
Privacy is such a huge concern right now, and after all the scandals that happened with data being leaked, Apple’s latest feature will provide a sense of security to users worldwide. The feature is not released yet, but it is predicted to be in early 2021.
Instagram and Facebook along with other independent developers are concerned that this feature will change the whole way their ads operate because without personal data it would be like “operating blind” and advertisers won’t be able to tell what return on investment they are getting. Apple had originally planned to release the feature with iOS 14, but after getting all the feedback they postponed the release.
Mosseri said the company will need to “make our case as strongly as we can” to Apple, the public, policymakers, influencers and academics, but said the company does “own the majority of the market here in the U.S.” as it pertains to smartphones and ”[controls] the ecosystem end-to-end.”
Adam Mosseri from Instagram elaborated on his concerns:
“If the ecosystem changes in a way that advertisers can’t really measure their return on investment, that’s really going to be, yes, somewhat problematic for our business, but it’s going to be problematic for all the big ad platforms roughly equally, so I’m not that worried about it over the long run,” he said. “It’s going to be much much more problematic for all the small businesses. There are millions of them out there that rely on us to target customers and to reach those customers. Particularly during a pandemic when they’re hurting.”
Mosseri wants to settle on a middle ground:
“We believe that there’s a way to be really responsible and give people control over their data and transparency into their data but without cutting off our understanding and therefore operating blind,” he said.
Nobody is certain whether Apple will stick to the original feature or make changes to accommodate the developer’s needs. Only time will tell.