The conflict between privacy and commercial wish to target advertising will be a subject again this week. Apple released its new software version for iPhones and iPads called iOS 14.5. The updated version will allow users to refuse identifier used for targeting advertising in apps.
Apple says the option of not using the IDFA (identifier for advertisers) is introduced out of respect for privacy while Facebook and other advertisers have objected they fear it will hit their advertising business.
Companies selling advertising use the IDFA to target ads and to estimate how efficient the ads have been. The new iOS 14.5 means that apps will have to ask users to use the IDFA.
Many, among them obviously Facebook, think that many users will say no to the tracking – some have said 80%. Apple refers this new feature to respect for privacy but is also less interested in advertising as its business is mainly selling devices and in-app purchases.
German Advertising Federation (ZAW) on behalf of the nine industry associations that it represents has written to German antitrust authority complaining that Apple’s new software means the company abuses its market power and violates antitrust legislation. The federation includes German giant publisher Springer that is the owner of Insider and newspaper Bild.
“Through these unilaterally imposed measures, Apple effectively excludes all competitors from processing commercially relevant data in the Apple ecosystem,” ZAW said in a press release.
When users upgrade to the iOS 14.5 operating system, a pop-up will inform that for specific functionalities, the user has to agree to share data and this is when Facebook and other advertisers fear that many will refuse permission.
Apple has promised to provide developers with alternative advertising tools that will provide information about how the ads are performing but without giving information on an individual level.