Ad Wars: Apple vs. Internet advertising

I know for whom I’ll be rooting.

From the Guardian’s Apple blocking ads that follow users around web is ‘sabotage’, says industry:

For the second time in as many years, internet advertisers are facing unprecedented disruption to their business model thanks to a new feature in a forthcoming Apple software update.

iOS 11, the latest version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, will hit users’ phones and tablets on Tuesday. It will include a new default feature for the Safari web browser dubbed “intelligent tracking prevention”, which prevents certain websites from tracking users around the net, in effect blocking those annoying ads that follow you everywhere you visit.

Six major advertising consortia have already written an open letter to Apple expressing their “deep concern” over the way the change is implemented, and asking the company to “to rethink its plan to … risk disrupting the valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services”.

Apple response:

“Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the internet.”

My take: Easy for Apple to say. Unlike Google and Facebook, Apple’s business model doesn’t depend on internet advertising.

See also: AdWeek’s Every Major Advertising Group Is Blasting Apple for Blocking Cookies in the Safari Browser

14 Comments

  1. Jonny Tilney said:

    Hooray to disruption of insidious, permisionless, personal data acquisition.

    2
    September 18, 2017
  2. Fred Stein said:

    My take:

    There is plenty of ad-blocking sw available. This is only an issue because Apple has the best demographic any advertiser could want.

    I registered for “Do not call” as still get unwanted calls. Sites like Forbes and many others have ads the block-out the content and/or that re-arrage the screen so that you have back-scroll about 4 times to read an article.

    Advertiser need to be more respectful of the user’s privacy and viewing experience. They did not pay for my iPhone or wireless bill.

    3
    September 18, 2017
    • David Drinkwater said:

      I agree strongly.

      I was trying to read one of the bottom margin links yesterday from an ESPN article. It turned out to be one of those twenty page deals where you load each page to get one photo (that didn’t add much to the story) and one paragraph and a million ads and a hard to find BACK and NEXT button surrounded by adware arrows. I gave up on the article part way in. There could have been another 20 paragraphs of good content that I will never see.

      I use google and Facebook, but I do not like their business practices. I think Apple is silently calling those practices out, until it was essentially forced to do so by the advertising consortium, but managed not to name any names.

      It’s tough to be the king.

      0
      September 18, 2017
    • David Emery said:

      ” I registered for “Do not call” as still get unwanted calls. ”

      There’s a significant number of scammers who know what they are doing is illegal and continue to do it anyway. Sometimes they get caught, but most of the time no one is bothered to go after their often overseas boiler shops. My solution is to make Caller ID unforgeable (not an original/unique idea), but the Telcos will scream because of the changes required to their switches.

      I don’t object to on-line advertising, if (1) the ads are easily separated from user content (that’s the problem with Facebook), (2) the ads are static, so the mere act of having the ad load does not generate a tracking event and (3) I’m not tracked without prior approval.

      0
      September 18, 2017
    • Richard Wanderman said:

      Try: Nomorobo

      https://www.nomorobo.com

      Seems to work quite well on our landline. I’ve not done it on my iPhone(s) yet as it’s not been as much of a problem there.

      0
      September 18, 2017
      • David Emery said:

        Several friends like nomorobo.com But I’m very suspicious of a free service. Remember, if you’re not the customer, you’re probably the product!

        0
        September 18, 2017
  3. Gregg Thurman said:

    It isn’t the advertisers that have created the problem, it is the sites that have oversold advertising to the point that their content is overwhelmed by the presence of so much advertising.

    I don’t care if an advertiser follows me around the ‘net, as very little of my purchasing is driven by ads, as long as they don’t interfere with my surfing with “popups”.

    As to who it will hurt the most, I think Google is the primary target. Google gets an inordinate amount of its advertising revenue from Apple product users, even though they (Apple users) are vastly outnumbered by Windows and Android users.

    1
    September 18, 2017
  4. Peter Kropf said:

    One of my favorite Apple Watch functions is when I get a call, the number shows up on my watch. If it’s a number that is not in my contact list, I dismiss it without missing a beat.

    How about a “real” call, you ask? They always have the option to leave a msg, and you know what? I dismiss about 4 calls a day and, so far, I’ve had a legitimate message left just once.

    0
    September 18, 2017
  5. John Butt said:

    ” I registered for “Do not call” as still get unwanted calls. ”
    We do not have this option in NZ, so I suspect many like me have dropped their landline entirely.
    I did this after realising that the ONLY calls I was getting were international nuisance calls that I could no longer filter due to the sheer number of local VoIP numbers they are using to make these calls.

    1
    September 18, 2017
    • David Emery said:

      That’s a key point to remember, most of these calls are VoIP from boiler shop operations in India and possibly the Caribbean. The fact that they’re VoIP is the reason (excuse) that their Caller ID can’t be reliably determined. But that’s a problem that can be closed, if switches use an indication like “VoIP” or “unverifiable” instead of letting spammers forge the CallerID number. Once I even got called from my own phone number.

      0
      September 18, 2017
  6. John Kirk said:

    “Easy for Apple to say. Unlike Google and Facebook, Apple’s business model doesn’t depend on internet advertising.”

    I think Apple should get some credit here. They don’t pursue privacy because it’s consistent with their business model. It’s the other way around. Apple created a business model that was consistent with privacy.

    3
    September 18, 2017
    • David Drinkwater said:

      Privacy is a core value at Apple, so they build their systems to support privacy and to “encourage” other companies to do the same.

      2
      September 18, 2017

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