How iOS users are reacting to Apple’s controversial new third-party consent policy

By Joshkun Mahir | 16 Sep 2020

Earlier this year, Apple announced that it will be updating its tracking policy. Broadly speaking, the update will mean that each individual app will need active opt-in consent in order to access a device’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and transmit data to third-parties. This means that businesses that were previously reliant on app interactions for key tracking purposes could potentially be in jeopardy. The update is in line with Apple’s ongoing commitment to ensure that privacy is maintained throughout their devices and iOS apps, as discussed at WWDC20.

The impact of this is large for any app-based brand, as it makes it harder to effectively track and attribute conversions and revenue, as well as general engagement metrics. In the wake of GDPR, all marketers understand the impact that opt-ins have versus passive consent, and how far this can limit overall efficiencies.

Both Instagram and Facebook have released public complaints about the potential update, based on it being an additional hurdle to the consent they already gain. The undertone of both statements was that it would have a negative impact on mobile, app-based advertisers and “severely” impact its Audience Network revenue on iPhones overall. In response to these calls, Apple announced in early September that it would be pushing the launch of this new system to next year. Although you’ll be able to submit information via Apple Store by the end of September to ensure your app is correctly set up for when the shift occurs.

To gauge the potential impact of this move, Search Engine Land conducted a survey into how people may react to the update. Interestingly, 23% they would be happy to accept the new conditions, while the rest either responded they would not be happy to accept the conditions or said they would need further information. Fundamentally, this shows that there’s a concern within the public around data collection and where it goes.

In the same survey, Search Engine Land asked what it would take to incentivise app opt-ins. While 42% said they would still not share their information, the remaining 58% mentioned that either a coupon or discount code (23%), reward points for products or travel (21%), a direct cash payment (12%), or other incentive (2%) might persuade them.

To mitigate the potential loss of tracking data, app marketers will need to make sure their information is correctly submitted in order to fully comply with iOS policy once the change does occur. It’s important to ensure consent policies are up to date and facilitate the information needed to track effectively.