After the user updates the system,
all apps must individually pop up prompts and obtain user consent when collecting user data and using it for cross-app delivery.
Apple also released an advertising video explaining their “application tracking transparency”.
What’s interesting is thatApple emphasizes that they are not directly “blocking” IDFA (the advertising identifier that collects user data on mobile phones), but instead gives users a choice to let users decide whether to share data with the app.
But it was such a small reminder that caused an “earthquake” in the digital advertising industry. They realized that the business model that has been established over the years to provide free services on advertising-profit platforms will face reshaping. What worries them even more is that what Apple demolished was the first “domino”, which does not rule out that more Android manufacturers will follow up and ban advertising identifiers in the future.
Facebook realized from the beginning that this was a declaration of war.
Advertising business is the core business of Facebook. In Q4 2020, 96.8% of its revenue will be advertising business. From the standpoint of Facebook, free, advertising-supported services are essential to the growth and vitality of the Internet, but Apple is trying to rewrite the rules to benefit itself and hinder everyone else.
“Apple’s privacy protection policy has nothing to do with user privacy.” Facebook believes that Apple’s claim to protect user privacy is to make better profits, especially when the user’s perceived difficulty in product innovation increases, the user’s attention is shifted from the product. Transferring to yourself is an effective way to increase sales.
In December last year, media such as Facebook, “New York Times” and other media published a full-page “big-character poster”, denounced Apple: “60%, if there is no targeted advertising, the sales of these small companies will drop by 60%.”
From this perspective, Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach is like a “lazy policy.” At a time when everyone is terrified of the abuse of user data, Apple’s “lazy policy” has won applause.
They rely on your data to feed
To understand how the small company that Facebook came out for uses IDFA for data collection and accurate delivery, we must first understand IDFA, a unique identifier bound to the iPhone. Major Internet companies use this identifier to track user behavior and record the number of downloads or purchase conversions obtained by advertising, and advertisers use this identifier to determine how much advertising costs to pay for each traffic platform.
For example, after you browse a certain product on the e-commerce platform of A, you will see the advertisement of the same product when you open the news client of B. It is because the two apps A and B read the IDFA of your iPhone. This situation may also occur: when you mention milk powder to your friends on WeChat, and then switch to the e-commerce App, you will see products related to milk powder, as if the device is “monitoring” you.
IDFA, the “switch” for collecting user data,
was previously enabled by default. But in June last year, this silently generated contract was torn by Apple. On iOS 14, IDFA changed from “default on” to “default asking”, and it was asked on the initial interface of the app when the user opened the app. The industry generally believes that most users will choose to close. In contrast, less than 10% of the people who would actively find out the hidden IDFA close button before.
Once the user does not authorize once at the very beginning, the industry’s traditional advertising and marketing strategy will be invalidated｜Network
In the future, the refusal of authorization by most users will make IDFA “exist in name only.”
Apple’s “active elimination” of IDFA dropped a bomb on the digital advertising industry. For example, in August last year, Facebook conducted a small-scale test on the iOS 14 beta, and the result was a 50% cliff-like decline in advertising revenue. Later, due to strong opposition from all parties, Apple announced that it would postpone the relevant update to the beginning of this year.
After Apple announced the IDFA update policy, users generally took a positive attitude, because for them, the previous data collection, exchange and application process was like a fully enclosed black box. Users do not know exactly where their data is used and shared, and technology companies do not disclose this process intuitively and transparently.
This “opacity” has become the source of user fear. Whenever the adapted advertisement appears on the user’s electronic screen, it will aggravate the fear of some users.
But it should be noted that”Desensitized” data sharing is a reasonable and legal business.
In the process of capturing data, generating labels, and sketching portraits, applications and platforms will not show what you are called or what you look like, because the law requires these platforms to “use personal information to avoid accurately targeting specific individuals.” .
After de-labeling and anonymization, what technology companies can obtain is actually an indirect, group portrait.
Public opinion’s almost “one-sided” attitude towards Apple’s New Deal also shows to some extent that ordinary users have “misunderstandings” about digital advertising and even Internet platforms that provide free services.
Part of the reason why users can enjoy the free services provided by the platform is that the digital advertising system is supporting the supply. In other words, under the premise of legal compliance, Internet platforms with profit-making needs inherently require users to exchange their “data”.
This consensus that should have been reached is not easily perceivable by users, but the risk of user data being misused is extremely easy to be disgusted by people.
Apple’s restrictions on IDFA have officially come into effect. In addition, mainstream browsers are also gradually phasing out support for third-party cookies. Safari and Firefox currently have cookies disabled by default, and Chrome will stop supporting third-party cookies before 2022.
The above-mentioned data acquisition methods from marketing to “devices” have all been actively eliminated by technology giants. One of the reasons is the user’s distrust tendency. This distrust also highlights the shortcomings of this data acquisition method. Once the user does not authorize it once at the very beginning, the previous advertising and marketing strategies will become invalid.
For those small companies maintained by Facebook that use large advertising platforms for delivery, the restriction of IDFA means that the App cannot pass the collected data back to the past. They cannot find the same user among different applications, and they cannot take measures. Sexual placement for customer acquisition. And they do not have a better alternative to reach potential consumers in a short period of time.
Apple betrays the “rules”
Restricting IDFA does not mean that users can be “surveilled” and “sold” directly. In fact, the advertisements people receive will not decrease, but the accuracy of advertising will be greatly reduced, and the advertisements you receive will be more random and irrelevant.
As early as three years ago, Apple designed a set of advertising tracking framework SKAdNetwork for iOS as an alternative. Like IDFA, it can track the effect of advertising. The difference is that SKAd will not track specific users or devices, but will only track “behavior.”
But for advertisers, Apple’s replacement program can only achieve the advertising goal of understanding clicks or installations. They cannot settle the data of user characteristics, nor can they optimize some in-depth events after installation. As a result, SKAdNetwork is still being ignored by advertising platforms and advertisers.
The reason why Apple betrayed the “rules”
is essentially the difference in business model and product strategy. “Privacy” has been an important “selling point” of Apple products in the past few years. The Safari browser automatically blocks long-term cross-web tracking of users by the advertising platform, and leaves data collection and processing in the device for local processing. Privacy reminders can be seen everywhere. …These methods of appeasing users’ fears are undoubtedly effective. Cook repeatedly stated on various occasions, “We will not treat customers as products (sell).”
However, Apple’s “elimination” of universal IDs is also quietly promoting the formation of another industry pattern-big media are also simultaneously starting to create IDs.
Facebook, Google, Ali, Baidu, Tencent, and Bytedance,
which have a large amount of user data, have all built their own advertising platforms. These top Internet platforms often have account and username systems that can be used for positioning. Now, advertisers can only rely more on the head advertising platform without IDFA data.
Frederic Jouve, general manager of the Asia-Pacific region of LiveRamp, a well-known marketing technology platform in the United States, told Geek Park, “Big media have the ability to use their own identifiers to build their own ecosystems and form self-protected and relatively closed walled gardens.” At the same time, these companies The precipitated data is only used in their respective ecosystems, which is undoubtedly pushing the market towards fragmentation and monopoly.
Take the Chinese market as an example. When advertisers and brands are always in the choice of Alibaba or Tencent, they actually lose their right to choose independently.
The founder of the platform order was shaken
However, in recent years, users have panicked about data security, and Apple and other companies have “disrupted” the industry, which has also begun to shake the founders of the platform order-operating system vendors.
As early as April last year, Xiaomi launched the “Illumination” function in the MIUI12 version of its own operating system, which is similar to the new feature of iOS 14. It can view the user’s clipboard in the app, get the user’s geographic location in the background, or call the microphone, When the camera and other functions are used, the function will trigger the “blocking network” and send a pop-up notification to the user in the foreground.
In the privacy module of the “Mobile Manager” application,
in the form of logs, it counts the operating behaviors of the installed applications, at what point the user’s microphone is called, and at what point the clipboard is viewed, and how many times are related behavior. The user can turn off the permissions he believes has been abused in this interface.
A screenshot of the MIUI12 flares function part, the left side is the app self-starting situation, the right side is the app being awakened |MIUI
Xiaomi found that after the operating system went live, the number of developers asking users for the highest permissions from the beginning has dropped. The “flare” function really reminds the compliance of the App on the MIUI platform. Who started it, who started who, whose start request was rejected by the system… These information that should have been known to users is now clearly displayed.
Apple also introduced App “privacy” information in the AppStore. On the specific App introduction page, users can see that the “private” information is divided into three categories: “Data used to track you”, “Data associated with you” and “Data that will not be associated with you”.
Among them, “data used to track you”
refers to user or device data collected by the App for targeted advertising or advertising evaluation. “Data associated with you” refers to the data associated with the user’s identity through the user account, device or other details on the App. “Apple exposed all the ways Facebook tracks you.” Some netizens listed Facebook’s more than a dozen screens of App “private” information on Twitter, and many people called for it.
Like the aforementioned Live Ramp Chain Core, it also launched a neutral third-party solution ATS (a traffic solution based on identity verification). This process can be visually understood as that when an advertisement request is initiated, the ID is put in an envelope, and then sent to different marketing technology platforms. When they get the envelope, they open it and read different identifiers to complete the chain of advertising.
In addition, this plan also allows users to withdraw midway at any time.
“The GDPR and China’s “Internet Security Law” both stipulate that users have the right to choose to move out, that is, stop authorizing the data party to collect personal information. For example, there will be an OptOut on the official website of Link Rui (Exit) option, after the user chooses OptOut, we will no longer obtain any data of this user.” Link Rui said.
In addition, new technologies are also trying to solve the dilemma between precision marketing and user data. For example, technologies such as federated learning and secure multi-party learning can complete data modeling and improve AI levels without disclosing the data.
For example, one company owns the user’s credit card data, and another company owns the house purchase data.
The two can integrate and match the two sets of data without knowing the other’s user data. But the reality is that many SMEs have no incentive to adopt these cutting-edge technologies. Relatively high technical thresholds, costly investment, and limited penalties are all obstacles to compliance for small and medium-sized companies.
How should technology companies want our data, and how should we give it, these are still forming a new balance in the turmoil.