Apple v. Facebook: Great for Privacy, Terrible for Advertisers

Timber Digital
2 min readFeb 22, 2021

Data tracking is more prevalent than ever.

Apple’s latest privacy move is creating significant tension with rivals such as Facebook — who view data collection as a means to segment users for advertising purposes, and ultimately conversion.

What does this mean for advertisers and small business owners that use that data for advertising?

Saved audience segmentation will get harder over time, as users decline to willingly offer-up their data willingly. Facebook has in turn, moved towards attempting to circumvent Apple’s privacy implementations through privacy prompts allowing the user to either opt in, or opt out — while warning investors that the changes may affect revenue. IOS users still remain among the highest converting and most valuable customer segments in regards to mobile advertising.

As Facebook’s revenue model is hyper-dependent on advertising, Google , Facebook, and other players will need to find work-arounds in order thrive.

The two sides of the argument are both relatively valuable: maintain a user’s privacy in accordance with their desires, or hyper-collect data to assist with tailored advertising and advertising segmentation. Apple’s intent is to prevent data-brokers and companies from amassing large archives of data.

Overview of Updates

· Increased privacy transparency for users

· [Upcoming roll-out] Explicit opt-in required for user data tracking, targeted advertisements, location data, or email lists

· Implements the App Store privacy nutrition label regarding a developer’s data practices

Core Features

· Obligatory App Developer disclosure of data collection and practices

· Implementation of AppTracking Transparency framework

Impacts to Advertisers

· Complicates and/or decreases effectiveness of targeted and segmented advertising practices

· Will complicate and/or inhibit location-based advertising practices

· Search intent and interests will be obfuscated over time

While this has both negative and positive impacts respectively, it is a definitive win for users who value privacy.

Once features are rolled out under the IOS 14 updates, advertisers will need to study and revise their current advertising strategies based on impact.

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Timber Digital
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Timber Digital: The B2B Advertising and Content Marketing Agency. @ timber-digital.com