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iOS 14: Apple urged to adopt standards promoting interoperability and more predictable user privacy

What's New in Publishing 03 Jul 2020 06:56

Following Apple’s announcement that it has decided to maintain IDFA and extend its influence on the App Store by limiting the action and management of application publishers, IAB Europe—in partnership with 15 other associations globally—drafted a joint letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

This letter, published in full below, alerts Apple in particular to the potential economic and competitive risks of such a decision. 

The letter (below) was sent to Apple yesterday.


Global marketing professionals including Advertisers, Agencies, App Publishers, AdTech and mobile marketing industry stakeholders broadly welcome Apple’s decision to maintain IDFA use across all App Store products and services – as a reminder, IDFA amounts to cookies, albeit much more controlled as the iOS 14 announcement shows, in an app-driven environment.

Following recent rumours around Apple potentially scrapping the IDFA altogether, with drastic knock-on effects on the sector, we trust Apple’s decision to keep IDFA will reinforce mobile identifiers as a standard of reference for online identity that is respectful of personal data and user privacy. We also welcome the customer-centricity of the new transparency and control features released by Apple.

  • Second, the proposed pop-up appears to be not widely customisable by the app developer and is not interoperable with digital advertising market standards, such as the IAB Europe’s Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF), which among other values standardises data uses and vendors presented to users. The “AppTrackingTransparency” feature has no concept of standard data uses or vendor presentation. As a consequence, the new Apple pop-up cannot be used by digital advertising sector to comply with GDPR requirements applicable to online advertising.
  • Fourth, Apple’s initiative raises competition issues, especially for industry stakeholders specialised in mobile app promotion and measurement. The ability for these companies to conduct businesses and provide their services could be severely drestricted, while Apple’s services would not be in scope of this new pop-up concerning the personal data for their own advertising purpose. As a result, Apple advertising services such as Apple Search Ads on the App Store will strengthen their competitive advantage. As a reminder, the App Store is the only App Store available via iOS, a key app environment which amounts to 90% of the time spent by mobile users.

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IDFAAppleApp StoreApp PublishersAdTech
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