Apple makes yet another move to fend off regulators

Apple’s machinery for personalizing ads — based on your web and news browsing — was turned on by default. In iOS 15 it requires consent.

From Benjamin Mayo’s “iOS 15 now prompts users if they want to enable Apple personalized ads” posted Thursday on 9to5Mac:

For iOS 15 users, Apple has begun prompting for their consent to enable Personalized Ads for their Apple ID, which allows Apple to use your App Store purchase history and several other demographics, to inform what advertising is displayed in the News and Stocks apps, as well as for targeting App Store Search Ads.

Apple ad targeting, or ‘Personalized Ads’ as Apple calls it, was previously enabled by default without any kind of prompt. Users had to learn about the preference on their own and navigate four levels deep in Settings to disable it, running somewhat counter to Apple’s privacy-first image.

The fact it was on by default has also led to antitrust scrutiny, especially as Apple limited the ability of third-party ad networks to target individual users with the introduction of App Tracking Transparency. Yet, a very similar system for its first-party advertising did not ask for any such permission.

My take: Kara Swisher was pretty certain on TV Monday that Apple was never going to outrun the antitrust cops. I’m not so sure.

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10 Comments

  1. Michael Goldfeder said:
    It’s shocking that Kara could be that wrong! She’s an analyst’s analyst!

    Oh well!

    1
    September 2, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      My take: Kara Swisher was pretty certain on TV Monday that Apple was never going to outrun the antitrust cops. I’m not so sure.

      And you would be correct PED. The antitrust cops are reactionary (and slow ones at that). Apple plans five, or more, years in advance of its visible moves. Apple’s redoubt has been in place since well before the AT cops appeared and began rattling their swords.

      1
      September 2, 2021
  2. If you want regulators of a particular nation to back off, enter into a partnership. India requires it. In this other case, with that nations largest manufacturer, the 2nd largest producer of vehicles. Prius gets over 50 mpg, anywhere. Apple needs at least 1 hybrid, if they really intend to reach the masses. Charging infrastructure, like broadband, will take time to reach the hinterlands. Hybrid gets you home & maybe a judge or committee off your back.

    1
    September 2, 2021
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    My guess it that Apple had a game plan in place long before the regulators reared their ugly heads.

    It may appear that Apple is reacting defensively to all the cries of monopoly/anti-trust, but my feeling is that Apple is just implementing the moves decided on years ago, and in the meantime collected as much as it could before the regulators woke up, AND, importantly, gave its competing services time to establish themselves among the faithful.

    Epic, Netflix, Spotify, et al may feel vindicated over Apple’s recent concessions, but they have already lost: Apple’s Services is today a major competitor, and is only going to get stronger.

    Example: telling people they can buy extras from their site doesn’t mean they will. Apple isn’t going to allow 3rd party vendors to undercut the prices they offer through Apple’s App Store. So why would a consumer go to the trouble of leaving their game, navigate to a different system, buy and return, when a single click accomplishes the same thing going through Apple. And then there’s the whole privacy and security element to consider when buying online outside of Apple’s walled garden.

    I haven’t even considered the stickiness of the Apple Card. Amazon recently offered (and I accepted) a credit card that gives me cash back on Amazon purchases, but not the security of an Apple Card.

    In my estimation recent moves by Apple are not concessions, they are just Act Two in Apple’s playbook.

    1
    September 2, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    I LOVE it, love the irony. The opt-in function makes Apple’s data more valuable. Classic Apple move. As Tim Cook said, “We don’t want to sell the most. We want to sell the best.”

    As for Kara, she’s blinded by confirmation bias. Hence she see’s Apple’s consumer safety measures as slick branding. She has the brains. She needs to shed the shackles.

    3
    September 2, 2021
  5. Jerry Doyle said:
    What is the definition of “emasculate,” and how does that term apply to a Congressional Oversight Committee on anti-trust concerns examining Apple?

    0
    September 2, 2021

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