Apple updates its report on the importance of privacy in user data by announcing more transparency measures

We have never been so aware of the data we share as at the present time. And it is, even understanding the problems that may exist in it, some of our data has been stealthily leaking, for years using, a certain information gap in apps and web pages that Apple wants to put an end to. On January 28, the world privacy day was celebrated, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of protecting our information on the Internet, in which the company presented a PDF called “A day in the life of your data”, which today is updated with more information.

This new version details in a clear and didactic way details how companies track data of users on websites and applications, providing more information about ad auctions and attribution: one of the “hidden” markets with our most important data of the last decade. In these auctions, Apple explains how a complex ecosystem of websites, apps, social networks, intermediaries and advertising technology companies make use of these tracking systems to profile the user, both on and off the network.

The ad attribution system measures the effect they cause on the behavior of a user. That is, the possibility of tracking the conversion factor of an advertisement: if it is for a product, the advertiser could know if the user visited the web or a physical store to buy it. If it is an app, the advertiser will be able to know if the user finally installed it. This “attribution” is used to create targeted campaigns to maximize their effectiveness. They are actually very legal practices, but they shouldn’t put privacy at risk of the user.

Safe technology for the user, and also useful for advertising without compromising privacy

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With the aim that the advertiser can continue to measure the impact of their advertising campaigns directed at groups, without the need to use user tracking. For it, Apple has worked on two technologies that achieve the same useful result to measure the impact of the advertiser’s advertising, without compromising any personal data.

SKAdNetwork It will allow advertisers to know how many installations of the app there have been, after a specific campaign. But always thinking about the transparent design: no data of the person or the device is shared, and since this connection does not exist, a specific user cannot be tracked.

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“I think that people are smart and that there are some who are willing to share more data than others. Ask them. Ask them all the time until they tell you they don’t want any more questions. Let them know what exactly you are going to do with their data »- Steve Jobs All Things Digital Conference (2010)

On the other hand, with the private click measurement For iOS and iPadOS 14.5 apps, advertisers will be able to measure the impact of their ads that take the user to a website, again limiting the data that is collected by processes running inside the device, without leaving or sending any data outside of it. That is, the advertiser will be able to know that a user has clicked on his ad and that generated a certain action on his website (visit, buy …) but you will never receive specific information from a person, nor can you link this data in any way.

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The tracking of our information by the apps may be activated or deactivated at the express request of the user, giving them even more control over their data.

With the new App Tracking Transparency, Apple will also ask developers to include a new feature to prevent tracking within apps as of iOS / iPadOS 14.5, in which the user will be able to accept (or not) this hitch or even disable it completely within the privacy section of the operating systems. Additionally, developers will be asked to update privacy cards of your apps not only at the time of the first submission for review, but at each update. Objective: to make users aware of the importance of having control over your data, and developers to facilitate this management from their own creations.

Photo | Malte Helmhold

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