Privacy and Permission Updates

POV: Privacy and Permission Updates - June 2021


Changes in Market Conditions:

  • June 7th, 2021 Apple introduced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 (Monterey), and iCloud+

    • iCloud+ is exclusively available to paid iCloud users on Apple platforms

    • Apple has an estimated 660 million services customers (subscribers)

    • While iCloud is included in that number, other services (AppleTV+, News, Arcade, etc.) are also included.

  • Protections included with premium iCloud+ service

    • Mail Protection on all Apple platforms (Apple Mail):

      • Hide my email: Create temporary email accounts that forward to the user’s iCloud email address.

      • Mail Privacy Protection: Disable email tracking pixels and IP tracking.

    • Safari on all Apple platforms get Privacy Relay

      • Users on all platforms can choose to route their browsing and dns through a proxy service (two separate anonymous relays).

      • Users can choose IP addresses that are “close” to their current location, or specifically not so.


With iOS 14.5 Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT). While a controversial feature, its users have embraced it. In one report, just 4% of users had allowed unfettered access to their data - while 96% said “No thank you.”

With iOS 15, Apple continues its moves toward privacy protection and permission as a service. The impacts of these specific features won’t be truly known until they reach the general public in late fall of 2021.


Our Take:
It would be unwise to discount the effects of Apple’s push for more privacy. With 1.5 billion active devices, Apple’s operating systems play a significant role in the hands of consumers. Users across every platform have shown a clear desire for more ownership of their data, and Apple’s users have quite literally taken action. This isn’t the end of email marketing, nor is it email-aggedon. It’s a signal that needs to be acknowledged and honored.

Owning the first party relationship is near-term gold - while marketing to prospects is going to continue to become more difficult. There has never been a better time to earn the trust of the consumer. It’ll require a new approach to digital marketing.


The Solve:
This is another growth opportunity. Consider moving to more direct and measurable metrics such as clicks and the actions taken after click. Focus on the metrics that matter.

It’s also a great time to increase leveraging your first party data in your digital marketing, see our Cookieless World POV attached (Third-Party Cookieless World + FLoC POV) and in addition take another look at measurement techniques and attribution models. 

While first party information such as IP addresses, email addresses, and location using IP addresses will become less reliable over time as digital platforms adapt to market conditions, there is (currently) no impact on query string/search attribution methods.

Clicks still matter. Website visits matter. How consumers interact with the brand matters more than ever. Give users a reason to engage, and they will.

Next Steps: 
If you have any questions or need help, please give us a call.


More information and references:
Apple: Apple advances its privacy leadership with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 
Sparkpost: Impact of iOS 15 Update on Open Tracking 
Klaviyo: iOS 15: What You Actually Need To Be Worried About
Apple WWDC 2021 Keynote (privacy segment)
TechCrunch: Apple announces iCloud+ with privacy-focused features
Ars Technica:96% of US users opt out of app tracking in iOS 14.5, analytics find
9to5 Mac: Apple services hit 660 million subscribers with revenue growing 27%
Counterpoint: Apple’s PaaS : Privacy-as-a-Service
CM Group (Selligent): Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection explained: What it is and how it affects you

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