Snapchat’s owner Snap has been investigating ways to circumvent Apple’s new privacy rules, but claims it will stop the show before the rules begin.
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has been investigating ways to circumvent Apple’s new application tracking transparency rules to track users without their knowledge. Apple’s new system forces developers to reveal exactly what information they are collecting and gives users the ability to opt out of being tracked. This has left some of the biggest names in the business concerned about how transparency will affect their bottom line and looking for alternative solutions.
Applications track users in many ways, some of which are identifiable and some of which are not. However, the former is the most profitable and has led many applications to secretly collect and share user data for specific ad campaigns. Understandably, many users opt out when asked if an app can share their financial information or browsing history. As a result, developers are investigating solutions to track users without conflicting with Apple’s new privacy rules.
The Financial times reports that Snap investigated a method to covertly track users without their consent. The technique uses probability comparison, which collects a large amount of user data from third-party companies and then compares it with its own user data in an attempt to identify individual users. Snapchat isn’t the first app to investigate such a thing: TikTok used a similar strategy in its own attempt to circumvent Apple’s new consumer policies. In a comment to the post, Snap acknowledged that the solution would be contrary to Apple’s policies and that it would discontinue the program before the new rules take effect. However, it is worrying that the company has also expressed its conviction that meeting “cohort data”- data on user groups rather than individuals – would still be acceptable, although experts who spoke to the Financial Times disagreed.
Apple App Tracking Transparency: What and Why
Apple unveiled its new application tracking transparency rules in June last year at its Worldwide Developers Conference. The new system requires application developers to disclose what information their applications collect and share about users through a new and easy to understand “nutritional labels.“These labels break down the tracking data into”Data used to track you” and “Data linked to youAnd they break down into specific categories like contact information, browsing history, location, and financial information. Starting with iOS 14.5, users will have to consent to each type of tracking in a similar way to how they previously had to give permission to access contact lists and device storage. By displaying this information so prominently and by requiring permission for each area, Apple is empowering its customers to make more informed decisions about which apps to use and stemming the tide of secret information gathering.
Targeted advertising is big business, which is exactly why so many apps are eager to collect as much user data as possible. Facebook generated more than 84 billion in ad revenue in 2020 alone and I wasn’t particularly happy when Apple decided to shed light on how many users were being tracked. Unfortunately, until now, the standard practice was to hide these details in lengthy service contracts, leaving many people in the dark as to what they were actually consenting to share.
As the saying goes, information is power and that’s exactly what drives this initiative. Apple users will still have to agree to be tracked to continue using many apps, but making users more aware of the apps that are gathering about them and offering them the opportunity to opt out is a net benefit to consumers. App developers may be concerned about lost revenue, but if simple transparency is poised to wreak so much havoc in the mobile advertising industry, then that’s a good indicator that this is an industry that has been around too long. the shadows.
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