Apple iOS 14.5’s strongest update feature is it!

It is said that the Internet has no memory, because the hot spot has passed, it becomes dust.

But the Internet also has memories. It records all your traces, and you can find everything you have with just one line.

These so-called "traces" are your personal data, which can include your browsing habits, preferences, length of stay, personal movement tracks, location information, and even more sensitive information such as identity information and pictures.

So far, these data that we have created, with strong personal preferences and representing personal inclinations, are not just for ourselves, nor for our own use.

By default, our data is shared with large companies, and we get convenience from them, such as personalized recommendations, short videos that match our preferences, portable services, etc., and they use these sensitive personal data to make personalized advertisements. Recommend and profit from it.

Putting aside complex connections, in simple terms, in the eyes of these big companies, we are like "workers" of these data, and our daily activities create "data", which is used by them to earn profits. However, as workers, we have not received the corresponding compensation, and we all have a taste of "Black Mirror".

Before the words "thousands of people with thousands of faces" and "personal recommendation" appeared, big companies actually noticed the value of these "data", and gave birth to digital advertising business, in order to be more accurate according to your preferences. Recommend to achieve a higher conversion rate and obtain higher revenue.

In this regard, many companies have basically the same approach to transform these data into greater benefits. As smart phones gradually become personal information centers, this process has become easier, data is more concentrated, and personal attributes are stronger. As a result, more accurate delivery and stronger algorithms will keep you deep in it.

For "personal privacy", Apple pays more attention to user experience

Apple is also one of the big companies that pay attention to "private data", but their approach is somewhat different.

On iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad, the system will assign an IDFA (Identifier for Advertising) to each device, which will connect the usage data on your device in series. Advertisers collect tracking data by obtaining IDFA, then model them, and finally deliver according to their behaviors and preferences.

In the face of the industry's acquiescence, more and more frequent tracking of data, and the problem of accurate advertising investment, Apple revised the permission to track IDFA on iOS 14 at the WWDC in June 2020, and put this permission in the foreground. It is up to the user to decide, that is, iOS 14 requires developers to "pop up" to prompt when tracking or obtaining the user's IDFA, "Do you allow me to track your IDFA?" (I believe normal people will click no) .

In addition to putting IDFA on the bright side, what user data the App in the App Store will obtain and collect also needs to be "transparent", which is listed one by one under the App introduction.

These two "privacy" measures have hit the key points of digital advertising companies. IDFA cannot be tracked and collected. It is difficult for advertisements to be accurately delivered, and their own interests will be affected. As soon as WWDC 2020 is over, some "big companies" in Silicon Valley have completely exploded, the most well-known of which are Google and Facebook.

The new privacy policy App Tracking Transparency (ATT) adopted by iOS 14 is also well known to Apple that it will cause industry turmoil and give developers a certain buffer period to gradually adjust the adjustments to IDFA tracking policies. In the end, this new policy did not land until January 2021.

However, Google and Facebook, which have been affected by this change, have also adopted completely different approaches. Google chose to embrace, while Facebook chose to fight back.

▲ Google expressed support for Apple’s privacy reforms in iOS 14. Image from: Google Blog

Soon after the iOS 14 ATT was launched, Google stated in its blog that it supports the change, and in order to avoid lowering the profitability of advertising providers, it said it would work with Apple to improve SKAdNetwork. SKAdNetwork is an alternative solution for Apple to track IDFA delivery. It does not track individual user data, but records the overall behavior, such as how many people clicked and how many people downloaded after the ad was pushed, so as to avoid sensitivity from the source. Data collection.

In Q4 of 2020, 96.8% of Facebook's revenue is advertising business, which is its core business. After the ATT of iOS 14 is implemented, it obviously has a considerable impact on Facebook. What was the impact? Facebook itself did a small test on the iOS 14 beta. After turning off tracking IDFA, advertising revenue dropped by 50%. In this way, Facebook's strong counterattack is not unreasonable.

▲ Picture from: cnet

Starting in December 2020, Facebook has been fighting Apple against ATT. First, the "big character poster" stated that Apple's move was suspected of being a monopoly and stifling the ecology of countless small and medium-sized enterprises. Without accurate advertising, small and medium-sized enterprises would suffer a 60% loss. "We have to speak for small businesses." And also said that Apple's move is not for the user's "privacy" considerations, but is ultimately for profit.

Faced with Facebook’s shouts, Craig Federighi, President of Apple Software, responded “It is clear that some companies will do everything they can to prevent application tracking transparency.” “We need the world to see the essence of the dispute: shamelessly Try to maintain the status quo of invasion of privacy."

Apple iOS 14.5 is stricter on the "privacy" app

Although Facebook is protesting, Apple still promotes "transparency" and "reforms" on privacy as planned.

After two months of testing, the official version of iOS 14.5 was finally released. In addition to the popular Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone, with regard to privacy, iOS 14.5 went one step further and imposed stricter restrictions on App tracking. In iOS 14, there may be a situation where "Apps that have not requested permission may also try to track", but in iOS 14.5, users can fully grasp the tracking of their own data by apps and websites.

▲ I think most people will choose "Not to Track". Picture from: YouTube

At the same time, Apple also released an App Tracking Transparency commercial on YouTube, describing in detail how iOS 14.5 "protects" users' privacy and "cuts" apps from sensitive data. track.

It is worth noting that Apple's App Tracking Transparency on iOS 14.5 is still to "inform" and let users choose, rather than to prevent apps from tracking your IDFA across the board. What Apple is doing is "transparency" of the flow of personal data, rather than making decisions for users.

Behind this choice, the Apple App Store has adopted more stringent measures. If it is found that the App is tracking users who are not required to be tracked, App developers must improve, otherwise their App will be removed from the App Store.

Facebook, which had previously strongly opposed Apple's "privacy" new policy, has now compromised with Apple, saying that it will comply with the ATT function of iOS 14 in order to prevent Apple from removing Facebook from the App Store. At the same time, Facebook also stated that "personalized advertising and user privacy can coexist."

▲Craig Federighi, President of Apple Software. Picture from: Apple

In response to Facebook’s strong opposition and iOS 14.5’s efforts on user data privacy, Apple Software President Craig Federighi said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, “Since the birth of the iPhone, we have been improving our platform. Privacy protection. It is not surprising to us to hear that some people are going to fight back. At the same time, we fully believe that it is the right choice to give users a choice here."

In the torrent of the "big data" era, the data created by our activities is actually easy to obtain, and the channels are not just smartphones. Apple's efforts and innovations in "privacy" in iOS 14.5 only allow us to control our own data, to whom it is used and who owns it.

As to whether we, as a data "worker", can obtain financial benefits from actively providing personal data, this kind of ultimate question about the attribution of data ownership benefits may require more time to answer.

Personal data such as faces and fingerprints, user browsing records, and length of stay gave birth to many industries on the Internet. The initial stage did bring a lot of convenience, such as information retrieval, preference recommendation, etc., but the lack of supervision also gave rise to many problems. , The promotion of loan advertisements, etc., have also begun to arouse our hidden worries about the abuse of personal data.

In terms of "privacy", Apple did not adopt the same default acquisition method as other large companies, but made it transparent and left the choice to users.

As Craig Federighi said, Apple has been concerned about "privacy" since a very early time, and has taken the user experience-first position. iOS 8 sets the device’s Mac address as private, and iOS 11’s Safari will delete it. Cookies for more than 30 days, and then to a series of "privacy" policies on iOS 14, are just like the logo of Apple's privacy page, which adds a lock to the user's privacy and also interrupts the original connection to the user data. That "line" makes you who use iPhone more "unfamiliar" on the Internet.

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