Apple’s new privacy features continue to hit Facebook as an increasing number of iPhone users opt out of tracking on their devices. A year after its launch, in yet another shocking blow to Facebook, it looks like the revenue hit is going to be even bigger than before. The iPhone maker’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) features will cost Facebook $12.8 billion in 2022, according to a new analysis.
In February, I reported that Apple’s ATT privacy features, launched in iOS 14.5, would cost the social network more than $10 billion. As iPhone users begin to care more about privacy, and Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to push the field in the firm’s marketing, an increasing amount of people are asking not to monitor their iPhones. This is expected to drop about 15% to 20% for advertisers on iOS.
Apple’s ATT changes will affect Facebook the most, according to new data released by Lotem. Lotem predicts a revenue impact of $16 billion, of which YouTube will see a hit of $2.2 billion, compared with $546 million for Snap and $323 million for Twitter.
The ATT iPhone Privacy Features restrict app tracking by revoking access to the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a unique code assigned to each user. Apple can control this on a technical level because when you say no to tracking, advertisers get a string of zeros instead of a code.
But is Apple’s ATT as good as it sounds?
Yet since its inception, some clever developers have been inadvertently trying to get around Apple’s privacy features — highlighted by anti-tracking app Lockdown Privacy that ATT called “functionally useless” last year. Now, another study has revealed how flaws in Apple’s ATT framework could allow large firms like Facebook and Google to collect vast amounts of first-party data, as reported by Ars Technica.
“Our findings suggest that tracking companies, especially large companies with access to a large set of first-party data, still track users behind the scenes,” the researchers wrote. This happens through a number of methods, he says, including using IP addresses to link installation-specific IDs to apps and “Google or Facebook sign-ins, or email addresses provided by individual apps.” Sign-in functionality”.
“Particularly in combination with further user and device characteristics, which our data confirmed is still widely collected by tracking companies, the analysis of user behavior across apps and websites (ie fingerprinting and cohort tracking). would be possible to do,” the researchers said. “A direct consequence of ATT could be the strengthening of the existing power imbalance in the digital tracking ecosystem.”
Considering that iPhone privacy features are hurting revenue in the billions, ATT is certainly working to an extent. There will always be developers who try to get around the iPhone maker’s rules, so perhaps that aspect can be polished a little better, and the loopholes closed by Apple. Apple’s ATT certainly isn’t perfect, but at a time when people care about the data-hungry habits of Facebook and others, it’s a start.