Relations between the advertising industry and the Apple brand are strained. The associations that represent French advertisers have even launched an official procedure before the competition authority. Goal ? Do everything possible to prevent Apple from deploying its anti-ad tracking tools that came with iOS 14.
IDFA is at the heart of tensions
This Thursday October 29th, Apple defended this new feature by telling AFP, “iOS 14 gives users a choice of whether or not to track them for promotional purposes by linking their information to data from third parties or through Passing on your information to data brokers. “We understand that advertisers will not allow this, even if this ad appears to be more beneficial to the end user.
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Apple wants to be seen “better” by global regulators on the eve of a major antitrust investigation. After real efforts around Safari, tension began to emerge over IDFA, an acronym for IDentifier For Advertisers. This random identifier is assigned to every device developed by the American company. With iOS 14, Apple offers to link this identifier with the individual consent of each owner. The whole problem is there: with this famous IDFA, advertisers can target users.
Before this noose of French advertisers, Facebook warned this summer that iOS 14 could be harmful to advertising. Advertising giants like small advertisers obviously fear a widespread rejection of advertising. This would mean a massive decline in their market for them and some might not be able to recover. Apple is hearing these companies’ concerns and proposing to postpone the rollout of its anti-tracking tool to 2021 to allow advertising firms to adapt.
Apple is not against targeting ads
If we can understand the plight of advertisers, we need to realize that Apple remains perfectly straight in its boots. As the company made clear: “A user’s data belongs to him and he needs to be able to decide if he wants to share it and with whom.” A measure that, as the company explains, does not fundamentally oppose advertising. This tool simply improves users’ performance by controlling their access to targeted advertisements.
However, advertisers criticize Apple for not imposing the same rules. They state that the apple brand would use iPhone owners’ personal information for advertising purposes without their consent. Advertisers fear that Apple could clear the field for its own benefit. A decision will be made by the competition authority very soon.