privacy first

My Data Protection Diary: Privacy First… a new Approach!

Welcome to the summer season of My Data Protection Diary. I can only be grateful to enjoy this sunshine and to tell you about one of the hottest conversations I have had with Kellie recently regarding the world of data protection.

And if the temperature is high, there is the topic I am about to tell you about... which is even more hot!

It is a sector awfully close to each one of us, which has been a source of debate and occupied entire social networks’ homepages: privacy and iOS 14, the new Apple update.

Before starting the chat with Kellie, let's see what Apple's new update entails.

Essentially, Apple has indicated that data privacy and protection are central to the upcoming iOS update (iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14). Specifically, Apple has introduced a new “prompt” that will pop-up when people access any iOS app that gathers data and tracks users. The purpose of the prompt is to inform the person that the app would like to track their activity and provide them with the option to allow tracking or not. If the user allows tracking, then the app will continue to receive activity data.
Wow, it seems to be something interesting and revolutionary, let's finally think about our data!

Grab your cup of tea and enjoy our chat.

G.P.: Reading lots of posts on social media about this topic, my first curiosity concerns the approach used by Apple. Kellie, what do you think about it? Is there a future implication regarding the development of other apps?

K.P.: Privacy is a fundamental right for people and Apple is implementing it in its operating systems. And let me tell you, finally!

With the introduction of the new 'prompt', individuals will be able to choose whether or not to allow tracking of their data.

The revolution, if you can call it that, is to inform users in a simple and concise way about the monitoring of their information.

This is different to other operating systems that show you the prompt to read the full Privacy Policy before you download an app… But the question immediately arises:

How many individuals, especially in the 16-25 age, read the Privacy Policy? And how often is it unclear and difficult to understand?

Well, Apple with the new 'prompt' shows a direct message that everyone can understand.

G.P.: Thanks Kellie ... I love this topic! And as an Apple user, the first question I asked myself when I noticed the 'prompt' was ... but what is the real change / revolution in favour of individuals?

What risk can be reduced with this innovation brought by Apple?

K.P.: Interesting question, Giulia.

From an individual’s point of view, Apple's innovation has allowed users to choose how to manage their data. Therefore, when users disable activity tracking, apps can no longer link user data with other third-party information.

Your consent is required for the collection of your data!

It seems like a great start to me, particularly when you think about how difficult it has been for so many organisations to implement cookie consent management and the reluctance some companies have to try and get it right. This is a simple question which makes it easier for the individual to respond without intruding on their experience of using the app.

G.P.: The right of choice in the digital world seems almost impossible... but instead Tim Cook says: "We believe that users should be able to choose the data that is collected about them and how it is used"! It is amazing Kellie.

And after analysing the operating system, then the individual’s viewpoint, what does the iOS 14 update entail from a marketing and data tracking point of view, Kellie?

K.P.: Good question Giulia. The implications for the marketing industry are only relevant in the event that a deactivated user clicks on an ad from an app (e.g. Facebook) and visits that advertiser's website. The app cannot link user data from its system to the activity the person undertakes on the advertiser's website. This means that the app cannot use that person's activity on the advertiser's website to optimize the ads it serves for other similar users and cannot report to the advertiser if the user has "converted" on their website. (e.g. by going to a specific URL, or taking a specific action) after clicking on the ad.

Therefore, app advertisements and the ability to build a profile about individuals through their online activities, will only be effective if an individual allows it.
With this process, an individual’s privacy is being placed above the interests of organisations and keeping the choice in their hands.
Thank you, Apple, for providing us with the opportunity to choose how we handle our personal information. Though, it does (potentially) give them an advantage over their competition if they analyse that data themselves…

G.P.: Thanks Kellie for this helpful and interesting chat on a very hot topic right now.

If you are interested in listening to the opinions of our experts, don't hesitate to listen to episode 45 of our podcast on this topic!
From a marketing perspective, if consent has become a priority for Apple, one of the largest companies in the world, it is likely to become a priority for your website visitors.
Give them the choice of whether or not to accept cookies and control over how their data is managed.

I hope you enjoyed my June session and treasured this chat.

If you have any thoughts on this hot topic... leave us a message and we are ready to chat with you!

See you in July!
Giulia xxx

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