Putting Privacy First: Apple’s not just blowing smoke!

Putting Privacy First: Apple’s not just blowing smoke!

June 9, 2021

As companies begin to take user privacy more seriously, Apple shows that its commitment is more than just a marketing campaign. While Apple has traditionally marketed itself as a privacy-focused company, their recent 2021 WWDC Keynote event proves that the sentiment was not just marketing rhetoric.

The internet has dramatically expanded the modern marketer's tool kit, in large part because of one simple but transformative development: digital data. With users regularly sharing personal data online and web cookies tracking every click, marketers have been able to gain unprecedented insight into consumers and serve up solutions tailored to their individual needs. The results have been impressive. Research has shown that digital targeting meaningfully improves the response to advertisements and that ad performance declines when marketers' access to consumer data is reduced. But there is also evidence that using online "surveillance" to sell products can lead to a consumer backlash.

What is the problem with privacy in digital advertising?

Data privacy is a huge problem in digital advertising. Because only around half of web users are aware of the use of cookies, and most don't know how to block them, marketers have been able to capture an enormous amount of data about individuals without their knowledge or consent.

How does it affect you, and what can you do to protect yourself.

The way that privacy affects you is that your data is being tracked without you knowing about it. This leads companies to use the information they gain from tracking you for their own personal use, not yours.

You can protect yourself by installing AdBlocker or other privacy-related extensions on your browser of choice (Chrome, Firefox). The add-on will block cookies.

Why should advertisers care about this issue?

It's essential that advertisers carefully manage this issue moving forward because consumers' privacy is an increasingly important issue. This means that you as an advertiser need to take privacy into account when designing and creating your marketing campaigns, rather than just assuming that what you're doing doesn't have any consequences for people's data.

How should we deal with data privacy going forward?

We need to be more mindful of how we treat our personal information. It's okay that you want to share your birthday with Facebook, but Facebook shouldn't also have access to the rest of your day-to-day activities if you don't want that. Moreover, you have to be careful about what privacy settings are available on the apps and websites that you use. Yes, it may seem more straightforward for an app developer to collect data from your browser or social media profile without asking for permission first. Still, not everyone is willing to share their information like this.

The future of online advertising - how will it change without personal information being collected

No one has the answer to this question yet. The data privacy landscape is still being defined. We don't know what's going to happen, but we do know that a lot of companies are worried about losing access to personal information. They're doing everything they can think of - including relying on other sources for new user data like browsing history, while others are looking to be more transparent with their users by explicitly asking whether or not they wish to share their data. With the rise of privacy concerns in recent years, many companies are shifting towards a more transparent data and privacy experience.

What are some best practices for protecting your data when browsing the internet or using social media platforms?

  • Use strong passwords that are not easy to guess. This includes using symbols and numbers or extending a word, so it becomes longer ­– but make sure you can remember what the password is!
  • Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts when possible, which will require both something you know (your password) and something you have access to (your phone, which usually has your fingerprint or facial recognition).
  • Keep a close eye on the permissions you are granting apps. Be wary of adding an app's developer to your contact list or allowing them access to all of your data because marketers or developers could use it for malicious purposes in the wrong hands.
  • Use privacy mode settings when possible so that what you browse is safe from the prying eyes of advertisers.
  • Delete your browsing history regularly so that others cannot access it if they have physical control over your device or even when you go in for a routine checkup at the doctor's office.
  • Check privacy settings on social media accounts to make sure everything is set up appropriately, and take advantage of security features.

In conclusion, put privacy first. Do your due diligence and do not let anyone use your data for their own gain, especially if they are not transparent about the purposes behind it.

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