Ahead of ATT launch, Apple touts its other privacy-preserving ad technologies on iOS


Apple has debuted a new “A Day in the Life of Your Data” report today with updated details on its efforts to preserve user privacy. The new report focuses on the behind-the-scenes technology Apple uses to manage the impact on user privacy of targeted advertising. This comes ahead of this spring’s launch of App Tracking Transparency.

This marks the second version of Apple’s “A Day in the Life of Your Data” report. As we detailed in January, the purpose of this is to help users “better understand how third-party companies track their information across apps and websites.” It also focuses on the ways in which Apple works to make tracking more transparent and gives users more control.

The new version of “A Day in the Life of Your Data” builds on Apple’s goal with new details on “A Day in the Life of an Ad.” Here, Apple details how targeted advertising works, including ad auctions and ad attributions.

“Because the ad auction process happens in a fraction of a second, both buyers and sellers collect, exchange and use personal data to bid for space and display ads,” Apple explains. Ad attribution, on the other hand, is when advertisers track behavior after a user sees an ad, in order to gauge that ad’s performance.

Apple explains, however, that advertisers can “manage the impact of their ad campaigns toward groups without tracking users.” It touts two of its own efforts to support privacy-preserving advertising.

  • SKAdNetwork: Lets advertisers know how many times an app was installed after ads for it were seen, so advertisers can measure the impact of their ad campaign. But this information is designed not to share any user or device-level data, so advertisers don’t track users.
  • Private Click Measurement for apps in iOS and iPadOS 14.5 allows advertisers to measure the impact of ads that lead users to a website while minimizing data collection using on-device processing. After a user clicks on an ad for a product in an app, the web browser itself, using Private Click Measurement can give advertisers information that a user clicked on their ad, and that it led to a certain outcome on their website, such as a visit or a purchase — without giving them information about who specifically clicked on the ad.

Meanwhile, App Tracking Transparency is expected to launch as part of iOS 14.5 sometime this spring, but Apple has yet to provide a firm release date. App Tracking Transparency will require that apps ask permission before tracking users across apps and websites.

You can find the full “A Day in the Life of Your Data” report on Apple’s website right here.

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