Changes to Apple’s iOS15 Privacy Settings
Changes to Apple's iOS15 privacy settings

Changes to Apple's iOS15 Privacy settings

Well… here we go again. Yet more changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy settings, and I’m sorry to say that if you are an app owner, marketer, advertiser, promotor, or publicist then your life is about to get a whole lot harder. Thanks, Apple …you’re the best!

It’s completely natural for everyone to want privacy, to not receive irrelevant ads, and it’s only fair your data is being protected.

Has Apple gone too far this time? Let’s look at what these changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy settings entail.

Apple assumed a position of apocalyptic proportions in relation to what happens when your data is shared. In the spirit of Apple’s overreaction to shared data, I’ve renamed their upgrades to something more aligned with their position: The 4 Horseman of the apocalypse.

App Tracking Transparency –“Conquest, aka Rise of the Drama Queen”.

changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy settings mean the big boy Apps like Facebook and their advertisers are screwed.

Since the tracking was released Apple estimates that 75% of its users have opted out of being tracked across their platforms.

The App tracking was used for various data reports, such as tracking Ad campaign results (if someone saw an ad on Facebook but typed the site into Google and brought up the website, it was possible to track this), users now have to confirm they want to be tracked, rather than turning the feature on.

Although App Tracking had already been released its impact on Apps was limited, until the changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy upgrade came into play on, 20th September 2021, which builds further on their ‘Ask App Not to Track’ which has been holding back App Tracking Transparency since it’s introduction in April 2021.

App owners beware you’ll now have to comply.

App Privacy Report – “War, aka the pointless battle for data”.

Have you ever wondered how many times someone has looked at your Social Media page, or stood outside your window, or if they know how many times you’ve been to your favourite restaurant this week? There’s one word for a person like that – Stalker.

Well, now Apple will generate a report to let you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone and contacts during the last seven days. It also shows you which apps have contacted other domains and how recently they have contacted them. This way you can stop Apps from stalking and stealing data as soon as you notice something dodgy –Clear the App in question and delete it.

Hide My Email–“Famine, aka starving out the competition”.

This feature generates a random email address each time a user is filling out webforms, this way they do not have to give out their email address. Randomuser@apple.com has decided to leave their details for marketing contact, PLOT TWIST, they’re using Hide My Email, which creates a new random email address.

Every. Single. Time.

When randomuser@apple.com decides to block your marketing, it will come back to you as a ‘Hard Bounce’, effectively you will never be able to send them any marketing again. Here’s the good news – In reality ‘Hide My Email’ doesn’t have any effect on everyday email marketing, because if someone was sick of your campaign then they’d still be able to effectively block you from their personal email address. It will however stop cross-site tracking.

This does not mean that ‘Hide My Email’ is not a threat, especially for App owners. When a user logs into a new App using Hide My Email an App-specific random email address with no correlation to their actual email address will be created, this now means that as an app developer you are unable to connect to another app developer’s audience using a common email address. The feature will also hide whether an email has been opened in Apple Mail.

Apple will hold all this information or data per user, how many email addresses they create what those email addresses are, and where those email addresses have been used. Because the changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy settings all at once, Apple will hold all the email marketing power. Apple will most likely be using this to make a profile of you. Pot. Kettle.

iCloud Private Relay–“Death, aka Goodbye relevancy and Hello unwanted Ads”

If a user is a paying iCloud member, then they will be entitled to iCloud Private Relay, when in use it will hide the site name from Apple, whilst at the same time hiding the IP address from the Trusted Partner. So, neither party will be able to piece together who you are, or where you are going. This isn’t a benefit to you in any way. 

Normally, you leave a breadcrumb trail as you move across platforms at the speed of light (Or however fast your broadband allows). This means that a pretty accurate data profile is built around your activity.

For example, you’ve been on YouTube whilst in London watching videos of oil painters, you leave YouTube to search for Craft Stores in London, then you search for the best paper for oil paints. This we can safely assume, you would like to do an oil painting in London. Right now, your ads will reflect your search history. 

  • London.
  • Different paper types.
  • Oil Paints.
  • Craft Shops.
  • Oil painters in craft shops in London.

Changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy settings will prevent any tracking. So, you can kiss goodbye to relevancy. iCloud Private Relay makes it impossible to share your exact location and history except for things like localised weather and news.

Does this mean that you’ll stop receiving ads? Nope, nein, nie, no.

Instead, your feed will be full of junk based on your parental settings. Bye-bye relevancy

For Marketers and Creators, yah know, the people whose jobs will be affected:

When we put the Four Horseman together, the changes to Apple’s iOS15 privacy security features have created a mixed bag of responses across different sectors. Don’t waste time sulking. It’s time to get rid of your tried and tested tactics. Start looking into new ways to reach your target audience, because you’re going to have to fight hard to get through to them.

For my fellow App and Webpage developers: WTF? That’s right, “Where’s The Fix”?

With In-App purchases or monthly/yearly subscriptions, your clients will remain happily engaged but as this pans out you will need to focus on getting your App onto the front page of the App Store. Convince your client to do more In-App events, so you can showcase them on the front page of the App Store. 

For App and Webpage developers, search engine optimisers are officially your new best marketing friend. Keep your site/App simple. Keep them clean. Most of all, Get them right or Goodbye site!