Could iOS 15 be the boon for privacy and mean the end of tracking on Apple devices?

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Could iOS 15

In last year’s WorldWide Developers Conference, A lot of professionals talked about the way iOS 14 would affect user privacy and mobile marketing which continues to this day.

On June 7, Apple completed the 2021 WorldWide Developer Conference and it was here the company announced a wide array of new privacy features coming in iOS 15 (which was to be launched in September 2021), highlighting the ways users can control better and see how apps and websites use their data.

Here, it is time that we all go through the most important features of iOS 15 that will affect how companies can market their brand to their mobile users:

Privacy protection for Mail

Being part and parcel of the larger move to help users take back control of their data, Apple announced their Mail Privacy Protection update. It however has serious implications for email marketing.

In simplest terms, the update will render tracking pixels in Apple Mail as null and unusable. This effectively prevents email senders from using invisible pixels reliably for collecting information about how users interacted with their email.

THose who are not sure what tracking pixels are must understand that they are invisible pixels that emails use to tell marketers when a user has opened an email on which device and at which location. They are used by marketers to ensure emails are made in a more personalized manner, like a brand showing winter images to an email recipient in Switzerland in comparison to summer images for a recipient in The Bahamas.

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Professionals from a firm of mobile app development Toronto explain that it does affect the attribution and performance measurement of any firm’s email marketing, especially if a good section of any brand’s/company’s users is opening emails from Apple Mail. 

In such a case, the open rates will hence become untrustworthy and firms should hence consider performance measurement in a broader context, like conversion events users carry out after clicking on an email.

Private relay of iCloud

Apple is touting iCloud+ as combining the best of iCloud with the latest premium features it is offering. Among them are Hide My Email and Private Relay. Now we discuss the latter in the following paragraph.

Private relay helps create a privacy service right into the iCloud service. While using the Safari browser, any user’s data will be henc encrypted as it leaves the devices and is sent to two separate internet relays.

These relays help make the user’s IP address anonymous to a region (but not a specific location) which then decrypts the URL they want to visit so they can access it without being tracked.

What is it’s impact? For users of iCloud+, especially if they enabled Private Relay; marketers will not be able to rely on 3rd party cross-site user profiles based on specific IPs. Instead, they will be focusing on creating rich first-party user profiles for this purpose.

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Hide My Email feature of iCloud

Hide My Email is a feature which lets users share a random email address that forwards to their personal inbox whenever they want to keep their email address private. The feature is inbuilt directly into the Safari Browser, iCloud settings and Apple Mail (hire app developer). 

It also allows users to create and delete as many decoy email addresses as they need. It is all in an effort to provide users with improved control over who has the ability to contact them and in what ways they can contact them.

The impact of this: It allows users to create a single-use burner email address with ease for each app/website they use. THis way, Apple Inc. further undermines the use of email address as a 3rd party cross-site profile identifier, putting even more of a premium on creating first-party user profiles going ahead.

The app privacy report

The App Privacy Report of iOS 15 allows users to see how often each of their installed apps used their granted permission for location access, camera, pictures, microphone and contacts data during the last week (seven days that is). Users can also view all third-party domains an app is contacting to better understand who else may have access to their data.

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What would be the impact of this feature? Marketers need to be responsible with user data so they can earn customers’ trust and maintain it nicely. The App Privacy Report gives users better insights into how an app is using (or abusing) their information. It also provides them ease in revoking an app’s access to information in case users find something out of the ordinary.

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