iOS 14: The Destroyer of Online Advertising?

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iOS 14, the latest ver­sion of Apple’s mobile soft­ware for iPhones, began rolling out this week, a few weeks before the expect­ed arrival of this year’s new iPhone lineup.

A big change in the new oper­at­ing system, which was unveiled this summer at the virtual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), is a vari­ety of new pri­va­cy fea­tures, with many users who have down­loaded the soft­ware notic­ing an unusu­al­ly large number of pri­va­cy noti­fi­ca­tions.

According to a New York Times roundup of the pri­va­cy changes, apps must now ask for per­mis­sion in order to access devices on the user’s net­work. Also, when apps ask for loca­tion data, users can now choose to share either their exact loca­tion or a prox­i­mate one, although exact loca­tions are still required for nav­i­ga­tion and map­ping. Users can also limit which apps have access to which photos.

In addi­tion, a banner now pops up when­ev­er an app is access­ing the device’s clip­board, while there are changes to how Autofill changes work, from Contacts.

Another pro­posed pri­va­cy change has been the sub­ject of con­tro­ver­sy in recent weeks. According to TechCrunch, and other media reports, Apple had said at WWDC that it would allow users to opt out of in-app ad track­ing. However, after complaints from Facebook and other companies that col­lect huge amounts of rev­enue from adver­tis­ing, Apple has con­firmed that it will delay enforce­ment of that change.

Facebook, in a blog post in late August, argued that the changes would hurt its Audience Network busi­ness.

“This is not a change we want to make, but unfor­tu­nate­ly Apple’s updates to iOS14 have forced this deci­sion,” the social media giant said in that post. “We know this may severe­ly impact pub­lish­ers’ abil­i­ty to mon­e­tize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so inef­fec­tive on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future.”

“We are com­mit­ted to ensur­ing users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them. To give devel­op­ers time to make nec­es­sary changes, apps will be required to obtain per­mis­sion to track users start­ing early next year,” Apple said on its developer website ear­li­er this month.

The change also will apply to  iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, in addi­tion to iOS, Apple said.

“At Apple, we believe that pri­va­cy is a fun­da­men­tal human right. As announced at WWDC20, App Store prod­uct pages will fea­ture a new pri­va­cy infor­ma­tion sec­tion to help users under­stand an app’s pri­va­cy prac­tices,” the Apple site said. “Today we are pub­lish­ing more details for devel­op­ers on what will be cov­ered in this new pri­va­cy sec­tion. By the end of next month, you will be able to submit your infor­ma­tion via App Store Connect to pre­pare for this fea­ture rolling out to users by the end of the year.”

Stephen Silver, a tech­nol­o­gy writer for The National Interest, is a jour­nal­ist, essay­ist and film critic, who is also a con­trib­u­tor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage mag­a­zine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in sub­ur­ban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters

National Interest source|articles

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