Apple’s Latest Privacy Changes Will Affect Your Business

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The iOS 14 update is a critical change to Apple’s operating system. The update, which has been rolled out across all compatible Apple devices, will alert users to when, where, and how their information is being tracked. Users will have to actively agree to their information being tracked across platforms and websites and will now have a much clearer method to opt out of tracking. This means data reporting for marketing and advertising could see a reduction in audience sizes.

For businesses and marketers, this could make it more difficult to see specific details on sales and leads, both on web and app accounts. Ad personalisation will be more limited than before, and performance reporting may need to rely on modelling to fill in the gaps caused by iOS opt-outs.

With iOS owning over 50 per cent of the mobile operating system market in the UK, this major update will impact not only Facebook but thousands of businesses that make use of the platform for their advertising campaigns. Here, Mediaworks explains what exactly the update is, how it will affect businesses, and how you can prepare for the update.

What are the latest privacy changes for iOS 14?

The biggest change for iOS 14 device users will be the ATT prompt itself. This pop-up window will specifically alert users that an app they have just installed “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies”. The prompt will allow space for the app developer to explain the need for this tracking, such as for the delivery of personalised ads, before the user can choose to allow tracking or not.

The new update will also allow users to view a Privacy Report via Safari. The report will display how many websites contained trackers, how many trackers have been blocked, and which websites use trackers.

Who will be affected by the iOS 14 update?

What does all this mean for your business and your advertising campaign? It is clear that Apple’s update will affect all digital advertising platforms, from LinkedIn and TikTok to YouTube and Google. For now, the impact to Facebook is particularly clear. Businesses that use any of Facebook’s advertising tools, such as ad targeting, Facebook pixel, or optimisation and reporting for web conversion events, will notice significant changes due to iOS 14. As such, we’ve heard a lot more from Facebook regarding these changes and how to prepare for them.

How will the iOS 14 update affect your business?

At its core, the iOS 14 update will impact the size and specificity of your business’ view of leads and sales. It is predicted that, as more iOS 14 users opt out of tracking, both web and app conversion events will suffer limitations in ad personalisation and performance reporting.

For web accounts, significant changes include:

  • A reduction in audience sizes. If users opt-out, they will not be captured in remarketing audiences. This means they will potentially be missed from wider audience classifications.
  • The number of conversion events you can track, such as purchase or lead, will be limited to eight per domain for optimisation. Changing your top eight priorities could take up to three days to take effect.
  • Changes to conversion attribution windows. The default window will reduce to a seven-day click-only timeframe and longer windows such as 28-day-click or view will be removed. This means performance reports may look quite different post-change.
  • Conversion rate optimisation will be impacted due to having less data to work with, caused by the shorter attribution window and possibility that some data may be partially modelled.

For app accounts, changes will include:

  • App accounts will no longer be able to see a demographic breakdown of data.
  • No defined attribution window.
  • Limitations to accounts, with only one ad account per app, a maximum of nine campaigns, and five ad-sets per campaign, which must all use the same optimisation.
  • Delays in reports of app installs and events post-app install.

How to prepare for the iOS 14 privacy update

It is clear that there are a lot of changes to data acquisition and reporting on the horizon. Luckily, there are plenty of things your business can do to prepare for it.

Facebook’s Aggregated Events Measurement (AEM) will allow web events from iOS 14 devices to be measured. The platform will also model gaps in its data caused by users opting out, though this means conversion data may not be as accurate as in the past. Modelled data will be labelled in Facebook’s user interface. There are a few actions you can take too.

To keep delivering ads for conversion events on your business’ app:

  • It would be a good idea to install Facebook’s software development kit (SDK), if you haven’t already
  • Update the SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1. This can be done from Events Manager
  • Take a look at Facebook’s data practices. Your app privacy statement needs to be submitted to Apple.

To keep delivering ads for conversion events on your website:

  • Set up Domain Verification with Facebook
  • Take a look at the eight events that are most important for your optimisation.


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