iOS 14 Privacy Updates: What They Mean and How To Prepare


February 10, 2021   |   Share:     |  

4 minute read

June of 2020, at their annual Developers Conference, Apple announced their new privacy management policies scheduled to roll out alongside the iOS 14 update. Since then, the updates have been continually pushed back but are expected to be released over the next few months. 

There’s been a lot of noise coming from big tech companies about Apple’s new privacy roll-outs but let’s talk about what these changes mean for YOU. 

In this article, we’ll dive into what exactly these changes are, how they’ll affect the general public and businesses, and how you can prepare. But first, 

Let's start with the basics

IDFA’s: The device you have on you right now contains an IDFA –big-tech-speak for Identification For Advertisers. Essentially, your IDFA allows companies to collect data across platforms. 

That data is then returned to advertisers in order to better understand you as a consumer and target ads for you based on your individualized behaviors. 

App Tracking Transparency (ATT): Apple is introducing this policy in their iOS 14 rollouts. 

It will “require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.” 

This new approach is intent on keeping users in the know of where their data is going, who has access to it, and what it’s being used for.  

Aggregated Event Measurement: This protocol is Facebook’s solution to Apple’s Private Click Measurement and allows for the measurement of conversions from iOS 14 users.

SKAdNetwork: “The ad network API helps advertisers measure the success of ad campaigns while maintaining user privacy.” 

This network was introduced in 2018 and will be relied on heavily as a way for app-driven advertisers to verify conversions.

As of right now

Targeting Ads 

As a business, when you run a paid ad, you can utilize user’s IDFAs to intricately target who is seeing your ad. 

For example, when you run a real estate ad, you can use demographics such as zip codes, age ranges, and income to strategically place your digital content in front of your target audience. This method uses users’ IDFAs. 

Tracking Ads

Similarly, when you run an ad, you can track a wide range of specific user events, such as link clicks and conversions. 

That data is provided via cross-platform IDFAs, meaning you’re able to see that user’s specific journey prior to them landing on your website. 

When Apple’s ATT policy comes into effect, users will be presented with a prompt asking if they’d like to opt-in or opt-out of IDFA tracking. As you can imagine, many users will choose to opt-out, which will have a drastic impact on ad targeting and tracking. 

How Will iOS 14 Impact Your Audience

Overall, this is a huge step forward for data protection, further solidifying privacy as a human right. 

As an advertiser, of course, you want to ensure you reach the right audience at the right time. But what Apple is doing is working towards protecting the user’s individual privacy in the process. 

It’s argued that advertisers use targeting to ensure the ads users encounter aren’t irrelevant or a waste of money, which is a fair point. 

However, there are other methods that companies like the New York Times have tested and have proven successful thus far.

how Will iOS 14 Impact Your Paid Ads

"Advertisers running Display, Video and other campaigns promoting web-based conversion goals may see performance fluctuations as Apple’s ATT policies go into effect. During this time, we will be expanding modeled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic."

John DoeChristophe Combette
Group Product Manager, Google Ads

Targeting Ads

As we mentioned above, a large number of people will likely choose to opt-out of advertising tracking. That being the case, ad targeting will become much broader and less personalized for the time being. 

When this happens, it may impact a campaign’s success, especially if you are a small business that relies heavily on precisely targeted ads. 

Tracking Conversions 

One of the most critical aspects of campaign tracking is monitoring conversions. Luckily, this will still be possible after the privacy roll-outs. 

However, the data is likely to be incomplete or less accurate since the data pool will be much smaller than it currently is. On top of that, there are a few steps required to continue this practice that we’ll discuss below.

How Can You Prepare?

iOS 14 Updates

Whether or not these new privacy policies will hurt you or help you, one thing we know is that they are coming. 

And the last thing you want is to be the only one that’s not prepared. So let’s talk about what you can do to make sure you are ahead of the game.

Facebook and Google each released statements regarding what they are doing to comply. 

Expanding on that, Facebook has also provided steps you as a business can take to ready yourself for these updates.  

Facebook Pixel

From what Facebook has released, if you intend to deliver ads optimized for conversions on your business’s website, you will need to verify your website’s domain. This is required to avoid disruptions to your current or future campaigns. 

Once your domain is verified, Facebook’s Aggregated Events Measurement will allow for the configuration of up to 8 conversion events.  

"If you're advertising your small business you need to take this update into account. We recommend verifying your website domain as soon as possible to continue monitoring the success of your campaigns once the new policy rolls out."

Deepu Thomas
Director of Marketing, INDIRAP

Are These Changes Good or Bad?

It depends on who you’re asking. There has been a mixed reaction to these updates as they will clearly impact everyone differently. 

Facebook stands firmly in the opposition, stating that these changes are for profit rather than privacy and that those who will hurt the most are small businesses. 

However, a collective of civil and human rights organizations has made it clear that they favor Apple’s steps and even wrote a joint letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to announce their disappointment that the updates continue to face delays.

We’ll let you decide for yourself.

We’re continually evolving over here at INDIRAP. We’re up to date with every twist and turn within the industry and we’re ready to take your brand to the next level.  

So if you have any questions regarding how these iOS Privacy updates are going to affect your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll even hook you up with a free 15 minute strategy session with one of our paid ad pros. 

We’re ready for these changes, are you?  

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