European advertisers critical of iOS 14 warning users about ad tracking

Marketing associations are concerned about the changes to iOS 14 and complain that Apple is ignoring the GDPR – and users will be less likely to allow tracking.

A group of 16 European digital marketing and advertising associations have criticized Apple iOS 14 and iPadOS 14’s plans for increased privacy, which means that apps will need to ask users for additional authorization before they can follow them. In the future, applications wishing to do so will have to display a pop-up screen detailing asking the user to confirm that he accepts such tracking.

According to Reuters, the group says that Apple’s plans mean that users will actually have to apply for permission twice. This is specifically a problem for European users, as they and their data are protected by EU GDPR rules.

These users will see two authorization screens, but Apple also allows more. In addition to imposing its own pop-up window for privacy permissions, Apple allows developers to first display an unlimited number of explanatory screens. It is really a question of making the choice to authorize IDFA tracking (Identifier for Advertisers) by application, and not universally.

Nevertheless, the members of the association would have complained that the required popup window, and the limited means of personalizing it, mean that there is “a high risk of user refusal”.

Reuters says an unspecified number of marketing associations are supported by Facebook and others by Google. Overall, the 16 associations also say that in implementing its iOS 14 plans, Apple is not following established European rules governing how the advertising industry can or cannot track users.

In particular, Apple’s own tool for measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns will not require user authorization. However, Apple says that this system works with anonymous aggregated data, rather than specific user information.

Advertisers are concerned that iOS will repeat the permission to track location request, which has seen many users choose to block it

Apple’s plans for iOS 14 are a continuation of the tracking limitations it previously introduced, including those for iOS 13, which were primarily related to background user tracking apps. According to Location Sciences, a location verification research firm, which examined the first few weeks of the impact of iOS 13, about 80% of users stopped all background tracking by apps.

However, apps that have adopted the connection privacy approach with Apple have reported increased user engagement. In iOS 14, sites will be able to convert connections to a connection with Apple.

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