Apple Delays Software Change Expected to Stymie Targeted Advertising


Apple said on Thursday it will give developers a programme update that is expected to stymie targeted ads in iPhone and iPad apps until next year.

An upgrade to Apple’s iOS mobile software includes a requirement that apps seek permission from users to collect and share device-identifying data that is used to make ads more important.

“Once activated, a device prompt will provide users with the option to allow or deny the app-by-app monitoring,” Apple told AFP.

“We want to give developers time to make the required improvements and therefore the requirement to use this tracking permission will come into effect early next year.”

Last week, Facebook published news that Apple’s mobile apps change would slash revenue for developers who rely on its in-app ad network.

According to Facebook, such data is used to target ads in ways which make them more likely to be of interest and earn money.

Tests found that Audience Network platform revenue that enables Facebook’s framework to work behind the scenes to target ads in apps dropped by more than half when customization was thwarted, explained an online post.

“In fact, the effect on iOS 14 for the Audience Network may be much greater, so we’re working on short- and long-term strategies to support publishers through these changes,” said Facebook.

“At the end of the day, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may make Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that offering it on iOS 14 might not make any sense.”

Apple is expected to release the next version of its mobile operating system later this year, and developers will have the option to ask users for permission from the outset when monitoring is involved.

“We understand that at an already difficult time for businesses, iOS 14 will hurt a lot of our developers and publishers,” Facebook said.

The social networking giant ‘s system will still be able to target ads in apps made for smartphones or tablets powered by Android, Facebook said.

Apple, which is not relying on digital ad revenue, has been working to limit online activity tracking and has emphasised user privacy as a priority.

“We believe the technology should protect the constitutional right of users to privacy,” said Apple.

“This means providing users with tools to understand which applications and websites can share their data with other firms for advertisement or advertisement measurement purposes, as well as tools to withdraw permission for this tracking.”

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.