Standardized Privacy as a Competitive Advantage for All

After bracing for the anticipated death of Apple’s mobile IDFA identifier, on June 23rd, Apple unveiled its latest iOS 14 for iPhones and iPads and as expected, the changes are not helpful to advertisers looking to identify when users interact with a mobile ad campaign.

Instead of killing the identifier (that was located in a user’s settings), Apple has brought it to the forefront of the user’s experience making it explicitly opt-in for every single app. While this may represent a big step forward in user privacy, it also presents a major stumbling block for mobile advertisers and their ability to measure and justify continued spending.

In a recent letter from IAB Europe (co-signed by multiple industry bodies including the Tech Lab) it was stated that although Industry welcomes the customer-centricity of the new transparency and control features released by Apple, it does take issue with the launch of a proprietary solution without consultation and collaboration to develop and adopt standards promoting interoperability and more standardized and balanced approach to privacy.

The IAB Tech Lab echoed these concerns in a recent blog post by Alex Cone, Senior Director, Product Management where he stresses the need for the industry, Apple and other browser and operating system providers to collaborate to develop privacy and data protection standards for sustainable addressability across devices and platforms. Not only does this new IDFA opt-in pop-up not interoperable with IAB’s Transparency Consent Framework, it also does not fully comply with certain GDPR information requirements regarding the collection of consent for personalized ads.

In a time when it is more important than ever for our advertising community to work together, IAB Canada stands behind Cone’s statement when he says that “It’s unfortunate Apple treats privacy and data protection as a proprietary advantage instead of a right which users maintain no matter what device they buy or browser they choose. To achieve predictable privacy for consumers, browser providers, mobile OS providers, and media and advertising companies must collaborate on open, interoperable privacy approaches and standards that put the consumer at the center.”

As we continue to move forward globally on Rearc collaboration towards a cookieless environment, it is not the time to develop a further fragmented landscape in the interests of creating walled gardens. Standardization of privacy should not hinder competitive advantage. Consistency in approaches delivers peace of mind to citizens, governments and provides helpful guardrails to industry.

We will continue to report on this and any other developments around privacy.