Apple Announce Major Privacy Changes To Safari And App Store

Apple announce major privacy changes to Safari and App store, impacting the future of cookie management and bringing new meaning to consent & privacy along with implications to businesses and marketers.

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Privacy first companies lean the way 

As a company whose mission is to: “develop solutions that bring people closer to their data”, we actively watch companies who promote privacy and data protection as core features within their products and services.

On Monday 22nd June 2020 Apple hosted their annual developer event: the Worldwide Developers Conference, (WWDC). During this, they showcased several changes to their ecosystem that continue their journey as pioneers in data protection and privacy. What does this mean for marketers?

What have they announced? 

Third-party Cookie Blocking 

A major update to Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), the browser now blocks third-party cookies including those used by most marketing teams such as Google Analytics, Marketing automation or email software and those from paid advertising platforms like Google & Bing Ads, and from social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This means that, by default, no advertisers or websites will now be able to follow users around the internet using comment tracking technology and targeting techniques.  

Privacy Report 

Safari users will be able to access a “Privacy Report” for each website they are browsing. A transparent mechanism to highlight how the website is using and tracking their data.  

This privacy report will identify what the browser is blocking and what trackers occur regularly in your journey.  

Browser Extensions 

Apple will support more browser extensions. Great news for people that have been crying out for these. Apple has been reluctant to allow many browser extensions because of the often excessive permissions that need to be granted for them to work. The latest update will allow granular controls over which websites can access these details and even for how long. 

Data Disclosure for apps 

All apps hosted in the app store will need to disclose what data is used to track you and what data can be linked to you. All apps will need to explain upfront, before download, what information will be used, tracked and shared. Apple has introduced a set of icons to categorise the types of data.  

This was a recommendation within GDPR but to date has not made any traction. Hopefully this will see the start of standardised data protection iconography that will help consumers understand how their data is being used across all services. 

The ID for Vendors (IDFV), typically used for tracking and targeted advertising will not be available until permission has been granted by the user. 

These features are a win for transparency. Currently when you download an app you have no idea what data you will be sharing until it is installed. At that point you have wasted time if you don’t want to continue because of the intrusive nature of the app.  

Cross-Party Tracking 

When an app is attempting to track you, you will be notified. Apps will need to ask permission to track the user and the user will be given the option to say no to tracking. 

Proxy Location 

Instead of sharing precise co-ordinates, users will be able to opt to share a proxy location. This allows people using geo-location to give an approximate rather than specific location. 

Transparency is a core principle within GDPR. This announcement shows that leading technology companies are willing to put users’ data protection and privacy at the forefront of their services.  

Apple see their privacy features as a competitive advantage and until data protection and privacy by default become mainstream, Apple will remain ahead of their competitors.  

The updates to Safari alone are such a significant milestone for web privacy, and it puts Apple’s browser two whole years ahead of Google’s Chrome alternative. 

The updates are significant to marketers who rely on data captured to guide insight and campaigns to better serve their business. Marketers are about to transition to a new era whereby consent is more important than ever before. 

This update comes as no surprise to many, in fact many large organisations have been toeing the fine line for a considerable amount of time now. Under regulatory guidelines, analytics and website cookies are not considered as ‘essential’ cookies and therefore must not be dropped unless consent is proactively granted. Many companies’ website use a ‘cookie wall’ which have a notice similar to: “By continuing to use our website, you agree to our cookie and privacy policy”. This is not following legislation and opens the company up for huge penalties and risk. With the new Safari updates, the browser will now actively alert and show visitors which cookies the website tried to drop which the user didn’t grant permission for, having huge implications for the brand, including potentially damaging consumer trust. 

Become compliant now. Consent often starts at cookie consent but there’s so much more to it when you start taking preferences into consideration to deliver a truly personalised and compliant experience which often leads to an increase in marketing ROI. 

Consentric is a Consent and Preference Management Platform that captures content from the very first touch point and is integrated with all of your business systems so you can be certain of what consent you hold for who, and what additional topics or product your contacts are interesting in hearing more about. 

Speak to us about your cookies and consent and preference management, or get a demo of Consentric now 

Emjay Lofts

Emjay Lofts

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