Questions about how consumer data is collected, analyzed, and used are the hot button topics in the digital advertising industry. The ever-evolving world of the industry presents constant marketing challenges but as with any challenge comes opportunity. Recent developments related to digital privacy are no exception to the trend. Apple took a huge step to establish added digital privacy for consumers with their latest iOS update. While the iOS 14 update is accommodating to consumers, it presents challenges for the digital advertising industry. 

With the Apple iOS 14 update, app developers are required to request permission before tracking users across other apps and websites. Advertisers previously used this type of data collection to target users with personalized ads and improve algorithms. It’s important to note that iOS 14 does not affect desktops but strictly affects mobile apps.

Apple’s policy ultimately impacts targeting strategies and conversion measurement with in-app advertising. The update creates reporting limitations such as: 

  • Data delays up to 3 days with limited real-time reporting
  • Estimated results for certain conversion events using statistical modeling
  • Delivery and action breakdown for demographics and placement will not be supported
  • Smaller attribution windows 

As more people choose to opt-out of tracking, the size of custom and retargeting audiences may decrease. There isn’t enough quantifiable data on how many people will opt-in or out from tracking. This makes it difficult for any business to understand the value of Facebook advertising. On top of that, businesses are already struggling with the effects of Covid-19, so apple’s update creates more barriers between business and buyers. However, advertisers can merely guess the extent of how iOS 14 will impact the industry.  

If you’re tired of having brands follow you around on social media and websites, then this is a great solution to hinder it. However, if you’re a business that advertises on mobile apps, then this exposes a deeper challenge in your measurement and attribution.