What does Apple’s IDFA decision mean for marketers?

Apple CEO Tim Cook has long said privacy doesn’t need to come at the expense of innovation and the tech giant’s latest move puts more control in the user’s hands

Apple announced earlier this year its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which allows marketers to attribute app usage on an iPhone or iPad with a user acquisition campaign, is being effectively disabled. It sent something of a shockwave through the mobile marketing industry.

Data and artificial intelligence company, ADA, CEO, Srinivas Gattamneni, said of Apple's decision that marketers will struggle with building lookalike audiences - audiences of anonymous people who share similar characteristics to their target audience - with IDFA disabled.

“This also has an impact on giants like Facebook and Google who will find it tougher to help their clients optimise campaign targeting,” Gattamneni said.

The tech giant, which has skin in the mobile game itself, has nevertheless introduced privacy measures with its Safari browser to limit tracking and now this. The IDFA, like Google’s equivalent, the GAID, sat under the bonnet of mobile devices in the settings and out of reach of users to find and disable it themselves. 

With the upcoming release of iOS14, expected to be in September, Apple is making it opt-in by default, handing the power to users to allow advertisers to track the device across apps and the Web. It’s the latest privacy protection move by Apple, after it turned on alerts for location-based tracking in the current version of the operating system.

TrafficGuard COO and cofounder, Luke Taylor, cautioned that removing IDFA would be detrimental to advertisers not just because it limits verification, but could exacerbate ad fraud.

“With less transparency, fraud is likely to flourish, compounding the challenges of attribution and optimisation,” Taylor explained to CMO.

While the mobile ad network has suffered from lack of transparency, Taylor believed removing identifiers will give fraudsters more ways to boost invalid traffic.

"The advertising industry has been calling out for greater transparency, which is in direct contrast to the privacy-focused direction browsers and operating systems are moving,” he said. “Unfortunately, measures such as eliminating third-party cookies and other identifiers like IDFA reduce transparency and make it easier for fraud to masquerade as real human traffic."

Privacy regulations like Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, along with Google’s decision to block third-party cookies in Chrome, have moved the dial on privacy protections for consumers. Now Apple has signalled it will turn the dial further.

Read more: 5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Winterberry Group senior managing partner, Bruce Biegel, told CMO Apple’s decision is part of eventually eliminating mobile ad IDs and Apple is serving notice it’s going to enforce a limited set of use cases for the IDFA “which will make identity-driven targeting and customer analytics more challenging in the iOS world”.

“The fact is that it has been a matter of when, and not if, there would be more restriction - and by serving notice that proper use is going to be enforced, it provides the industry with time to implement first party and other alternative identity solutions that are in testing and rollout today,” he said.

Gattamneni meanwhile said marketers will need to pivot to letting old-fashioned creative make an impact. “Social listening and video analytics tools will provide the insights to inform the creative process. And creative automation will allow generation of creatives at scale for better targeting and optimisation,” he added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.  


Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in