Apple bows to freaked-out advertisers, report

From The Information's "Apple Said to Delay iOS Change Roiling Mobile Ad Market" ($) posted Thursday:

Apple has told some developers that it plans to delay the enforcement of a controversial change to its next mobile operating system that would upend how ads are targeted on iPhones and iPads, according to people familiar with the matter.

The change in iOS 14, the next version of Apple’s mobile software, will require developers to ask users to share their device’s unique identifier for advertising purposes through a prompt. Many developers and advertisers rely on this identifier, or IDFA, to track the effectiveness of their ad campaigns in mobile apps, particularly for ads that prompt the viewer to download a specific app or game. Experts believe most people will not agree to share their IDFA when asked.

Apple has positioned the new prompt as a pro-privacy move that puts users in control of their data. But the proposed change has caused panic among marketers and developers that rely on targeted ads to reach consumers. Mobile developers and advertisers who spoke to The Information said they’ve had little time to prepare for the change, announced in June of this year, and that Apple hasn’t provided a clear workaround that lets them target their ads without the IDFA.

My take: Takes some of the sting out of Apple's new privacy ad.


  1. Adam Foster said:
    To heck with advertisers… I can’t stand being advertised to! They figure a way to infect everything that starts out good and free and slowly ruin a beautiful thing. I’m all for opt out as the default. Leave my IDFA alone!

    September 3, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Nothing is free. No ads, good-bye free apps.

      I get rid of ads by paying a $3 to $4 fee to the developer. I’ve paid out maybe, MAYBE, a hundred dollars in the last 4-5 years. That’s not onerous and well worth the elimination of annoying distractions.

      September 3, 2020
      • David Emery said:
        I’d be willing to pay for quality apps (and have paid to remove ads from a couple of apps that I like).

        The whole line of argument that “paying for stuff you use, rather than being spied on, is A Bad Thing” has always struck me as a terrible argument, usually advanced by people who make money from advertising.

        It’s tempting to send Tim an email on this:

        “Dear Tim,

        As a long time Apple user, I’ve valued Apple’s willingness to ‘go its own way’. The growing emphasis on privacy as a discriminator is highly appropriate and is one of the key features of Apple’s ecosystem value proposition. Thus I’m disappointed with any decision that would back away from Apple’s commitments, and that specifically means the recent decision to delay the changes to iOS that would increase my privacy. I ask you to reconsider, and put the needs of customers ahead of those corporations whose business model depends on surveillance. I have multiple apps on my phone that I’ve paid for, or have paid to remove advertising. That’s the obvious solution for companies who believe the iOS changes threaten their business. But for those whose business model -depends on- surveillance, such as Facebook, I have no sympathy for their pains from increased iOS privacy.”

        September 3, 2020
      • Rodney Avilla said:
        I agree. Nothing is free. I don’t mind ads. I do mind them tracking me. I do understand that they want to track me in order to make the ads relevant. However, I don’t want the ads relevant. I want the ads SO irrelevant, that they capture the minimal amount of my time and present no temptations. If I have to see ads (if I choose the ad version vs paying a couple bucks) then send me ads my subconcious can filter out immediately. BUT DO NOT TRACK ME without my permission.

        September 3, 2020
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. and that Apple hasn’t provided a clear workaround that lets them target their ads without the IDFA.”

    Then what’s the use for the change?

    September 3, 2020
  3. Bart Yee said:
    One other thing that most consumers never really realize – ad tracking and ads pushed to your browser, app, or application once its open – uses up your data allocations if you’re on a smartphone not in range of “free” wifi. IF you are paying for a specific amount of GB’s/month, a significant amount of that data is used by the apps to talk to advertising servers, and then the push back of targeted ads using up more data, screen space, and of course, delays in fully loading your desired webpage.

    Just be on your home computer and watch how many redirects one page goes through if ads are not blocked, and how much longer the page takes to load / reload with ads continually pushed. Ads are not free to us either, they cost us in partial data usage (I would easily guess 10% or more of your monthly data use, at home or on mobile). And think about it, the cheapest, least able to afford spending more for their data are the low cost Android users, who literally don’t even have a choice to avoid ads, but being built right into their OS!!

    I take it as a badge of honor to NEVER click on an ad shown to me from ANY webpage, and to block ads on Chrome or Safari except for specific sites I will patronize that I’m willing to put up with ads – which are few and far between.

    September 3, 2020
  4. Peter Kropf said:
    When responsible data protection is avoided because it’s costly, we get,

    “We’re sorry, but we didn’t have any idea that indiscriminate and open data sharing/trading had any downside to the insane profitability, it provided us.”

    – Bullshit Lie from FB’s “CEO”

    Instead of changing history at warp speed and being wildly profitable, FB could have carefully nurtured a great product that couldn’t be weaponized by investing significant R&D for making FB safe for humanity.

    September 4, 2020

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