Apple announced today that the privacy changes to its Identifier for Advertisers IDFAs in iOS 14 are coming during this week with its next operating system software release.
The changes are built into iOS 14.5, and they could potentially have a devastating effect on applications that rely on tracking capabilities to serve Ad. Mobile gaming may find itself disproportionately affected. The iPhone maker describes its IDFA changes as App Tracking Transparency, and they are intended to give users the option of not sharing their personal data further putting the users back in control of their digital lives.
Facebook had expressed heavy concerns regarding the changes to iOS that it might significantly impact it’s tracking and targeting capabilities in how it serves its users Ads.
With the new version of iOS, every app has to ask you upfront whether it’s OK to share your data with third parties. If you opt-out, then advertisers will lose access to IDFA data and their ability to track you when you download games or make in-app purchases. Before this change, advertisers could freely track your mobile habits and precisely target you with offers that could generate a lot of revenue for the advertiser, whether it was a mobile game company or a travel app maker.
The changes being brought could significantly reshuffle the deck and the flow of advertising dollars away from programmatic models and help put publishers back in the race in serving Ads to audiences and disrupt the advertising monopoly held by companies like Facebook and Google.
The irony is that the moves by Apple to enhance user privacy demonstrate its own monopolistic power - that with a few keystrokes the company can completely overturn the business model of multibillion-dollar industries. The winners of this update are going to be media companies and Apple raising the companies brand prestige through a vow renewal of consumer trust in the defense of personal privacy.