Blog 6 min 11/26/2020

Apple iOS 14 and Mobile App Privacy

Apple iOS 14

Apple iOS 14 and Mobile App Privacy

The current focus of the consumer privacy landscape is the collectionsharing, and usage of data on websites and mobile appsWhile websites have been a primary channel for businesses, mobile applications are increasingly driving revenue growth for retail, travel, and hospitality industries. However recent security and privacy requirements have challenged app developers to build a privacy-centric strategy into mobile applications. In addition to regulation requirements, tech giant Apple has made privacy updates to iOS 14 that will directly impact mobile app owners.  

Growth in the Mobile App Landscape  

Mobile app downloads are continually growing and are projected to continue to increase YoY. In fact, consumer spending on mobile apps and app installs grew significantly in 2020. In the first half of the year, consumers spent 23.4% more than the first half of 2019, resulting in $50.1 billion worldwide. Additionally, first-time app installs were up 26.1% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 to reach 71.5 billion downloads.  

This creates a big opportunity for publishers to expand into the mobile app world. Native apps are typically easier to access and provide a faster more interactive user experience when compared to navigating the web on a mobile device. These benefits also lead to a better in-app advertising experience.  

As consumer behaviors change in the way content is consumed, so do the industries that are building and regulating what happens on these applications. As industry concerns rise around data privacy and tech giants reevaluate tracking and personalization methods, publishers and advertisers may want to pivot their strategy to expand beyond the web. Doing so will allow publishers to focus on how the best ways to provide transparency, control, and build trust in mobile applications.  

Apple iOS 14 Impact on Ad Tech  

Apple recently announced at WWDC that iOS 14 will mask the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) by explicit opt-in instead of the current limited ad tracking (LAT) opt-out. At a high level, this means end users will need to provide consent to capturing their data and tracking across devices versus automatically being turned on previously.  

The recent privacy rule has gained much attention from the ad tech industry. Advertisers currently rely on the IDFA for ad monetization because it provides a unique identifier that’s persistent across apps. Facebook and digital ad companies have warned that the proposed change could roil the mobile app industry. Apple says developers can choose to comply with the rule now that iOS 14 has launched, but it won’t enforce it until 2021.  

Additionally, Apple announced that developers will be required to provide the information in “labels” starting December 8th. Like a normal nutrition labelthese privacy labels should give the user a better idea of what’s going on inside an app before you download it from the iOS App Store or Mac App Store. The labels will list what information an app collects, and present that visually on the app page. 

Publishers, advertisers, and agencies should consider developing an encompassing strategy on how to deal with this more restricted environment. With other tech leaders and platforms creating more restrictive policies on tracking, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the ever-changing environment.  

To learn more about Apple iOS 14 and how it impacts your mobile application, watch the webinar: “iOS 14 IDFA Changes: How to Maximize Opt-Ins” or connect with a OneTrust expert

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