Smartphone User Using an App

Apple’s New User Privacy Changes to Impact Travel Marketing

June 22, 2020 — If you’re a travel researcher or use travel research to develop your marketing plan, Apple introduced two new significant user privacy changes that will impact you, your travel marketing and how you promote your destination (DMO, CVB, TDA).

Before we share those details, it’s important for everyone who uses the “free” Internet to understand that there is “no free lunch.” Unbeknown to many people, we’ve actually been paying for this free access with our (yours and my) data being sold and shared. How do you think these large search engines and social media platforms help pay for their expenses and make money? The answer is data sharing and digital advertising.

While we’ve been downloading apps on our smartphones and tablets, our data – where we go and what we do – has been tracked, sold and shared. It’s the tech version of “Big Brother” or as defined by Merriam Webster:  an all-powerful government or organization monitoring and directing people’s actions.

If you feel as if digital ads are haunting you, too, you aren’t crazy. You click on ad or visit a website, close it and move on. You come back days later to find ads displayed everywhere for that product. That’s about to change.

Apple’s new user interface (UI) will impact each downloaded app in its Apple Store, not just the iOS variety either.
1) App developers will now need to disclose the type of data they “may” collect, known as Data Linked to You. This can include your:

  • Browsing history
  • Contacts
  • Financial info
  • Identifiers
  • Purchases
  • Location

2) The app developer will also need to now disclose “where” the data that may be tracked across apps and websites owned by other companies (sold and shared) AKA Data Used to Track You. This can include your:

  • Contact info
  • Identifiers
  • Location (key to travel researchers and advertisers)

Armed with this disclosed information, you, the consumer, can make a conscious decision to participate or say, “Nope, I don’t want my data shared and start removing apps.” We will leave it to geo-location or geo-fencing intelligence data sellers and travel researchers to convince us why the new thinner version of consumer behavior research is still as robust as it’s been.

Users will now need to give permission to companies/apps to track them “across apps and websites owned by other companies”. The options will be to Allow Tracking or Ask App Not to Track.

In essence, re-targeting ads are getting a swift kick to the curb. Never underestimate the next new marketing tool yet to be created that will outfox Apple.

What about my desktop computer?
If you currently use Goggle’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Edge, each has anti-tracking features. This fall Safari on a MAC is slated to receive an update to its privacy tools. Users will then be able to see a Tracking Report identifying tracking scripts added or blocked from the browser.

On June 22, 2020, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held an online event where millions of creative and innovative developers were given early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, and were given an opportunity to engage with Apple engineers who build app experiences that impact the lives of Apple customers around the globe.

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