Facebook and Apple were both right

Facebook was concerned that people/consumers might opt out of being tracked across the internet solely because they’d gone to one website. Apple thought people would take advantage of the chance to choose whether or not their internet activities could be tracked. They were both right.

But even I didn’t expect that 96% of iOS users would teach themselves even the simple steps to turn off tracking for all website — which is obviously what happened. I know I wrote people about how to do it and including the process on this blog, but this small an opt-in number is remarkable.

What the consequences will be for ad revenue for institutions like Facebook and for small businesses buying that tracking are not yet quantified but it’s already clear that business models will have to change.


 Only 4% of iOS users in US are opting in to ad tracking, report says

 By AppleInsider Staff | May 07, 2021

An ongoing analysis of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency tool claims 96% of users in the U.S. are opting out of the ad tracking feature which launched in April. 

According to Flurry Analytics, which has been tracking daily opt-in and opt-out rates following the launch of iOS 14.5 late last month, roughly 4% of daily users in the U.S. are allowing apps access to their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) tag. The figure is based on a sampling of 2.5 million daily mobile active users. 

Rates increase when taking other countries into account, with some 11% of 5.3 million daily users opting in to ad tracking worldwide.

Daily rates are calculated by dividing the number of devices that opted in by the total number of devices that both opted in and out using ATT. 

Interestingly, Flurry’s data suggests people are actively opting out of tracking requests. The company found only 4% of iOS 14.5 users have the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” option in settings disabled. That figure drops to 2% in the U.S. Turning the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” selection off automatically restricts IDFA data access and precludes apps from asking permission track.

Integrated into the latest iOS, iPadOS and tvOS revisions, ATT is a new feature that requires developers to ask users before tracking their movement across other apps and the web. Touted by Apple as an important user privacy tool, critics say the requirement to obtain ad tracking permissions will dissuade users from participating and thus hurt businesses reliant on ad revenue.

Apple offers a set of secure ad attribution tools as a privacy-focused replacement to industry standard tracking methods. The systems, including the SKAdNetwork and Privacy Click Measurement, do not directly identify users and can therefore be integrated without express user permission.

Developers are still adjusting to the new guidelines and a report released shortly after the debut of iOS 14.5 revealed some 10,000 apps created the necessary user request prompts. By some estimates, the App Store boasts about two million titles.

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