Apple does not benefit from ad tracking regulation, according to this study commissioned by Apple

Once again, Apple has commissioned a study in the form of advocacy, this time concerning the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy inaugurated with iOS 14.5 exactly a year ago. Let us recall the principle: it is the display of a window of consent to be followed by an application.

Kinshuk Jerath, a school business professor at Columbia Business School, obtained funding from Apple for this study, but no documentation or proprietary information from the manufacturer. He defends Apple’s position with common-sense arguments, but it’s true that the conclusions of the study remain tinged with the support of the company, as was the case for this recent report on the state of competition in the App Store.

The author makes the distinction several times between “first party” data and “third party” data. The first is information collected and used by a company within its own applications and services. For example, Apple for its own advertising network which displays advertising in the App Store, the News and Bourse applications.

“First party” data at the top, “third party” data at the bottom.

A network that uses third-party data uses information from everywhere, drawn from applications and services from other publishers. This can for example be data collected in a news app, crossed with data taken from a travel app and a game.

ATT acts on the collection of third-party data, asking the user if he accepts cross-application tracking. The study stresses that Apple’s new rules do not affect the ability of applications to collect and use “first party” data. Therefore, the impact on businesses that display targeted ads using this type of data is modest to non-existent.

Since last September, Apple has been asking for user consent to use first-party data for personalized App Store ads. It was something demanded especially in France.

Apple turns its back and will ask for consent to personalize the ads of the

Apple turns around and asks for consent to customize App Store ads

The researcher defends the Search Ads program, which since 2016 displays advertising in the search results of the App Store. It is highly unlikely that he siphoned off the advertising budgets lost by Meta and others following the introduction of ATT. Search Ads focuses on one area of ​​advertising, namely promoting mobile apps, not other services or goods like clothes or shoes.

The increase in sales of Search Ads (which unfortunately the researcher does not quantify) would be the consequence of the growth of advertising for mobile apps as a whole and in certain specific categories (finance, sports betting), and also by the launch in July 2021 of the program in China. Statistics had revealed on the contrary that Apple took advantage of the advertising framework imposed by iOS 14.5.

The privacy policy of

Apple’s privacy policy benefits its advertising business

Another study, independent this time, explained that if ATT actually worked, the practice posed other concerns. Publishers seek, and sometimes find, ways to circumvent this confidentiality measure.

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Ad tracking framework on iOS works, but raises other issues

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