Last updated 3/23/21.  The iOS 14 release is slated for April 2021

The digital advertising world is all about data, and the BIG players in this world have made a lot of money on collecting it and using it to serve all of us ads – Facebook ads, Twitter ads, retargeting ads, just to name a few.  Recently the EU (European Union) has begun regulating the online data industry, to protect its citizens.  Apple Inc. has joined this movement.  When Apple releases its iOS14 update for mobile next month, Apple iPad and iPhone users[1] will have to opt-in and allow every app on their device to collect data, including location data that a phone passes through to an app. 

How will this affect digital advertising?  That remains to be seen and will depend on how many people opt-in to receive personalized ads.

SellCell released a report in January based on a survey of 2,012 US iPhone and iPad owners 18 years and older, to gauge how many users will allow tracking and opt-in.

Here are the main survey results:

  • 59% agreed they would allow tracking if that’s how the app delivers relevant content
  • 48% agreed they would allow tracking if it means not losing access to content or features they currently enjoy
  • 74% would rather have tracking enabled than pay for content or features that are currently free
  • 61% disagreed that they would opt-in to being tracked if the app in question is a familiar one
  • 43% said they would be more willing to accept being tracked if the app is upfront about the data collected and their applications
  • 52% said tracking prompts would negatively impact their experience on the site or app

Bottom line – we have no idea how people will respond!

The fact is if a user chooses not to opt-in, they will still see ads, they just won’t be as relevant!

What we do know is that initially, these changes will make it more difficult for ad tech companies to measure and track consumer behavior on Apple devices.  In addition, as a result of changes in Facebook’s ability to track conversions, we anticipate seeing a 10% decrease in conversions with the updates.

We are keeping a close eye on this and will continue to post updates as we get them.


[1] Approximately 60% of mobile phones in use in the US are Apple products.