Increased user privacy has severely hurt Apple's online ad business

Revealed: Apple’s efforts to increase user privacy by stopping websites from tracking users has severely hurt online ad businesses with costs for reaching Safari users dropping by more than 60 percent in two years

  • The cost of an ad on Apple’s Safari browser has fallen by 60 percent in two years
  • Price drops are being attributed to less ability to target online ads
  • Meanwhile Google Chrome ad prices have risen slightly 

Apple’s new user privacy initiatives may be coming at the cost of its targeted ad business.

According to a report from The Information, Apple’s new anti web-tracking tools that prevent companies from tracking users as they travel to different sites have been ‘stunningly effective.’

As a result, throughout the past two years, the cost of ads on Safari have fallen by 60 percent according to The Information, while ads on Google Chrome – which notoriously tracks users’ every movement – have risen slightly. 

Apple’s ad business has taken a hit since the introduction of anti web-tracking tools that prevent companies from constantly monitoring users as they travel from site to site (Stock photo)

The drop in price can be attributed to less ability to granularly target ads to specific demographics and at specific times – an increasingly popular business model since the rise in availability of consumer data.

As reported by The Information, while 79 percent of Google Chrome users let the company track their activity using cookies, only 9 percent of Safari users allow it.

In the US, the Apple’s decision to give users greater privacy has been most impactful since a whopping mobile browsing takes place on Safari.

Apple has worked to bolster user privacy in recent years as more and more users have awakened to the reality of big data.

Mega tech companies like Google and Facebook have centered their business models around tracking users and siphoning off their data to third parties. 

The practice of collecting user data has been largely successful for companies, but has at times left users vulnerable to bad actors.

Notably, Facebook has been at the center of a number of scandals involving the collection of sensitive user data, including the collection of hundreds of millions of user passwords this year.

Though both Google and Facebook have made efforts to increase user privacy, both have been cautious of tweaking anything that would majorly disrupt their targeted advertising business. 

WHAT’S NEW IN iOS 13?

With iOS 13, you’ll be able to unlock your phone 30 percent faster using Face ID.

App launch speeds will also be twice as fast, thanks to downloads shrinking by 50 percent and updates by 60 percent.

iOS 13 will also get ‘Dark Mode’, which has long been available among its many competitors.

It boasts an inverted color palette for a sleeker design that’s easier on the eyes.  

In addition, iOS 13 will include a newly-designed share sheet and brings updates for Safari, Mail, Notes, and Reminders. 

‘Safari now has per-website preferences, Mail has new desktop formatting, and Notes will now have shared folders,’ Apple’s Craig Federighi revealed.

‘Reminders is now smarter, and can guess when to remind you of certain tasks.’

Apple’s iOS 13 will be available for the iPhone 6s and later handsets, and is packed with an array of changes – such as video editing, menstrual tracking and improved privacy features.

Apple’s Photo app is also getting smarter, and will soon automatically separate your screenshots from your main images. 

iOS 13 will also come with more advanced photo editing options, including Portrait Lighting adjustments. 

Apple Maps is also getting a major overhaul slated to become available by the end of 2019, with a focus on keeping things ‘private and secure.’ 

This will include a new favorites section for different locations, shareable lists, and personalized lists based on your trips. 

And your location data will now come with more protections. 

‘Sharing your location with a third party app can really enable some useful third-party experiences,’ said Director of Product Research, Meg Frost.  

‘For the first time you can share your location with an app just once and then require it to ask again the next time it wants it. 

‘And if you do choose to grant an app to continually monitor your location in the background, we’ll give you reports on what they’re up to.

‘Some apps try to infer your location through Bluetooth connections, etc. We’re shutting the door on that abuse as well.’   

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