Facebook wrote in the risk factors section of its most recent quarterly SEC filing: “We rely on data signals from user activity on websites and services that we do not control in order to deliver relevant and effective ads to our users. Our advertising revenue is dependent on targeting and measurement tools that incorporate these signals, and any changes in our ability to use such signals will adversely affect our business.”
This week, Facebook reiterated those risks, warning developers and advertisers that changes in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 14 could utterly crush its ad network.
At WWDC this summer, Apple outlined plans to improve privacy around Identification for Advertisers (IDFA) identifiers, a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify devices for ad-targeting purposes. iOS 14 will give users greater control over how IDFA data is shared between apps, proactively prompting users for “permission to track you across apps and websites.” When the choice is put in such plain language, there’s a good chance that a lot of people will simply decline, crippling ad targeting in the process.
Facebook will stop collecting IDFA data for its own apps, a strategy that it believes will be more predictable for Facebook and its partners. “This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to [iOS 14] have forced this decision,” Facebook cautioned. “We know this may severely impact publishers’ ability to monetize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future.”
[Facebook] noted that it has observed a gut-wrenching 50% decline in Audience Network publisher revenue in its testing when personalization is turned off. In fact, the ultimate impact to Audience Network could even be worse than getting cut in half.
MacDailyNews Take: As we write back in September 2015: People who value privacy and security use Apple products.
Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data. — Steve Jobs, June 2010
The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world. — MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017
Smart people who are concerned with protecting their privacy use Apple products. Certainly not Google and/or Facebook. — MacDailyNews, September 26, 2018