A Win For iPhone Users, A Crisis For Advertisers


Apple’s iOS 13 launched last Fall, offering a bunch of new security and privacy features to iPhone users. Among them is the ability to control how much data apps such as Google and Facebook collect.

When using Apple’s iOS 13, iPhone users are sent reminders when apps are tracking their location. You can also set location tracking to Always, Only While Using the App, or Never. And it seems lots of people are choosing that last option.

According to new figures by ad tracking company Teemo seen by DigiDay, less than half of iPhone users on iOS 13 are opting in to share data with apps when not in use. This contrasts to three years ago when people were often not aware they could limit ad tracking, and those rates were close to 100% of users.

More figures shared by DigiDay from location verification business Location Sciences show that while seven out of 10 downloaded iOS 13 within the first six weeks of release, 80% halted all background tracking on their iPhones. 

This has made it much more difficult to perform targeted advertising, which could have a huge impact on the location advertising market. 

Apple’s security and privacy features: Who wins?

The success of the new privacy and security features in iOS 13 is great news for Apple, which has correctly guessed there is a desire from its users to have more controls over privacy–but the changes have not been well received by the advertising market. As is clear from the figures, advertisers are seeing a huge reduction in the amount of location data they are able to collect and use.

I’ve written multiple articles encouraging users to take advantage of Apple’s new iOS 13 security and privacy features, so I was pleased to see that at least some people have listened. In an era of mass data collection and scandals, these features really do help give you control over your data. But while the users of Apple’s iPhones win, somebody always has to lose out. 

It was bound to happen: Apple’s business model focusing on user privacy can’t please everyone. The new features in iOS 13 were always going to annoy Facebook and Google, whose business models rely on advertising, but it seems the implications are even more wide-reaching. 

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