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Apple IOS 14.5 makes massive changes to online targeted ads
NOTE: This article has been updated on 21/4/21 with the latest info.
Privacy has become a massive hot-button issue, and tech giant Apple is taking things even further with a bold new move: an expansive privacy update that gives users vast control over targeted ads in apps.
The update is slated for release at the end of April, and will allow users to turn off their device’s ability to track their digital movements and serve them targeted ads. Once this update rolls out, apps that use ad tracking technology will need to provide users with an explicit warning and opt-in/out message for targeted ads prior to installation.
So why has Facebook gone on the offensive?
With targeted ads being one of the core features of Facebook’s advertising, the new update will make it far more difficult for targeted ads to be pushed to mobile phones.
Facebook has launched a counter campaign, stating that these changes are anti-competitive and will hurt the growth of ‘millions of businesses around the world’.
How Does This Affect Me?
As it stands, IOS users will be the only ones affected by this change.
Targeted ads can be a nuisance to those who would like to keep their privacy and data out of the hands of third parties, but for some, these personalised ads can be a blessing. With the data that Facebook and other companies are able to obtain, you get ads that are tailored to your specific interests.
Regardless of your stance, you’ll now be greeted with a warning prior to installing an application. This warning gives you the power to opt-in or out of targeted ads.
What’s the current situation?
Facebook has announced that they will begin to urge some iPhone and iPad users to let them track their activity so that they are able to receive more personalised ads. The company is currently rolling out tests of their in-app messages, before Apple’s changes become mandatory for all apps.
At its Spring Loaded event, Apple has revealed in a footnote that IOS 14.5 will be rolled out at the end of April, with a number of other changes:
- New inclusivity options, such as changing Siri’s voice and new skin tone options for emojis.
- New ways to unlock your phone with face ID, even when using a mask.
- Apple Airtags, offering IOS users the ability to track their belongings.
The App tracking Transparency update is certain to have a widespread and immediate impact on advertising on digital platforms. While there’s no shortage of criticism from all sides, many are looking forward to this update, since it’ll give users more control of their personal data.