The most influential feature on iOS 14 is actually it

As soon as I finished talking about guitar with you, the e-commerce app started advertising for me.
I didn't do it either. I just searched for guitar on the information software, and soon there was a guitar advertisement in the information stream.

This is my personal experience with a friend. The app’s response speed for recommending advertisements is so fast that we have to worry about it. After many of our friends communicated with us, we found that we have encountered or heard of this kind of thing more or less. .

How do apps know what information we have searched, and how do they accurately recommend ads to us?

Apple recently uploaded a document called " Daily Processing of Personal Data " on the privacy page of its official website, using a day when a father and daughter used mobile phones and other electronic products as a case to explain the entire process from data to advertising in a simple way.

Today’s behavioral data, tomorrow’s ads

The document lists a typical scene of a morning trip. When people use map software to locate their current location and plan a travel route, there are several applications in the background that regularly collect and track user location data.

You may think that location information alone cannot affect anything, but a third-party data broker has changed this. Generally speaking, some application developers sell data to third parties, and they are called data brokers.

A data broker can sell a variety of different data to institutions or specialized advertising companies, and these companies can match the original location information through massive amounts of data, and then create a comprehensive personal profile, including his daily Activities included.

The document points out that a data broker once collected data on 700 million consumers worldwide and created consumer profiles with 5,000 characteristics.

This is also one of the reasons why different apps can communicate with each other and accurately recommend advertisements for users. Of course, there are also some non-compliance situations, such as excessive data collection, such as some input method software, and the main functions are basically not available. Information, but the user will still be solicited for user information at the first startup.

Another frequently encountered situation is to see the same advertisements between different apps. In fact, this is not necessarily a large number of advertising companies, but you are targeted by advertisers. After a personal profile is constructed from various data, it will be dynamic Match ads.

The more the information meets the requirements of the advertisement, the more likely it will appear.

And behind these, the thing that connects your mobile phone with data and even advertisements is called the advertising identifier (IDFA), which is a string of letters and numbers unique to each iOS device. Advertisers and applications are identified by this string. Users, track the effect of advertising clicks, that is, clicks, download data, etc.

Similarly, there are third-party cookies that are common in the field of web pages. Advertisers can track and record user behaviors by implanting third-party cookies on multiple websites, and form a complete personal profile through analysis and combination, thereby making recommendations more accurately Advertising to you.

This is one of the reasons why once you have browsed a particular product on an e-commerce website, the recommended advertisements for related products will continue to appear.

Half of the money I spent on advertising was wasted; the trouble is that I don’t know which half.

John Wanamaker, widely known as the father of department stores, once said that the difficulty of tracking advertising effects is also one of the problems that the entire advertising industry hopes to solve urgently.

With the joint efforts of website developers, application developers, data brokers, and even advertising companies, user data is formed into a set of personal data, and advertisements are accurately placed. With the help of advertising identifiers such as IDFA, the advertising effect It can also be tracked quantitatively.

In the end, an industry with an annual value of over 270 billion U.S. dollars is formed. This happens every day, and most of the time without people’s knowledge.

IDFA and cookies are being discarded

Although IDFA and third-party cookies are not directly responsible for the use of personal data by advertising companies, as an intermediate role, it is a bridge builder and one of the decisive elements for the establishment of this model.

However, the current situation of these two things is also precarious. Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other mainstream browsers have announced that they will close support for third-party cookie interfaces.

Let's talk about the situation of IDFA. When iOS 14 was released, most people were concerned about desktop widgets and iOS appearance updates, but in fact, Apple's new privacy policy ATT (App Tracking Transparency) may have the greatest impact on users.

Simply put, the ATT policy puts the advertising identifier IDFA in the foreground, giving users the right to choose. When opening the app for the first time, the application needs to actively ask whether to enable the advertising identifier to allow the application to track user data and optimize advertising effects. .

At the same time, application developers are required to indicate which user data will be collected on the App Store page.

Based on the current public perception of the abuse of personal data, frequent advertisements, suspected privacy violations, and big data killings, a considerable number of people will say no.

After the announcement of the new privacy policy, the industry was heated up. Google, as a major Internet advertising user, was opposed to it at the beginning, but it didn't take long for it to tell its partners that everyone should explore the IDFA alternative SKAdNetwork technology prepared by Apple.

Compared to IDFA, Apple's SKAdNetwork technology does not track individual specific user data, but feeds back overall user behavior data, such as how many people clicked on links and how many people downloaded apps.

Moreover, calling the SKAdNetwork interface has a frequency cap, which means that this will limit the number of times we see a specific ad within a unit time period. SKAdNetwork also has a certain data feedback delay, and advertisers cannot quickly make adjustments based on the current user behavior data.

In the past, the advertisements we saw in applications were that multiple application developers used the advertising identifier IDFA to obtain multiple data and analyze and combine them into user portraits after obtaining user authorization. Advertising can also be based on individual users in real time. Behavior data.

After using SKAdNetwork, this set of system logic is invalid. The search information you just searched in social products and information software cannot be quickly fed back to user data, and advertisers cannot quickly change the way of advertising.

Simply put, SKAdNetwork technology is to reduce the amount of user data obtained by applications and the close correlation with a single user. It is obviously a good thing for users. The probability of personal privacy leakage is reduced, and it is undoubtedly for advertisers. "disaster".

Facebook tested it on the iOS 14 beta version, and found that its advertising revenue dropped by 50%, which is obviously unacceptable for Internet advertising that accounts for a large amount of revenue.

The bombardment between Facebook and Apple began. Apple emphasized that this was to protect user privacy, while Facebook stated that it was Apple's use of the App Store's control to anti-compete, which harmed the interests of application developers and small businesses.

In order to prove its attitude , Facebook also published newspapers in the New York Times and other media, and announced that it would display background information about the benefits of personalized advertising.

Although Facebook says so, it is clear that most users support Apple. The opacity of Internet advertising and appliance data has always caused many users to question. Previously, Forbes magazine reported an incident caused by the advertising identifier IDFA. Data breach incident.

The FBI arrested a person on an airplane trying to steal information from high-value players in games such as Final Fantasy. The data was also obtained through the IDFA interface and stored in a USB memory.

Coupled with all kinds of big data killings, although Internet companies never admit it, it is like an elephant in the room. People are less and less tolerant of data abuse, and they support Apple.

Will we see fewer ads?

Speaking of IDFA and third-party cookies being abandoned, the first thing many people think of is whether there will be fewer ads in the app.

The answer is no. Even if Apple takes the lead in abandoning IDFA and the industry turns to the alternate SKAdNetwork technology, it is only by reducing the amount of data collection content and the unique relevance to individuals, which will only reduce the relevance of advertisements and individuals.

▲ Facebook's data tracking request

Internet companies provide free products and rely on online advertising to make profits. Once advertising efficiency decreases, in order to ensure revenue coverage and high profits, Internet companies may even increase the frequency of advertising.

In addition to the general data collected by advertising identifiers, many companies are also building their own data ID systems. Why do various apps require you to register an account? I hope to collect more data in this way.

User data has become an asset of a company. In order to ensure the company's advantages, it will even "cover the stock and not sell", that is, not sell or share the data with third-party data brokers.

Of course, it is not without exception. Toutiao and JD.com have reached a partnership to launch the "JinTiao Plan", which is to open up the user data system of both parties. The data collected by Toutiao can also be personalized and recommended for JD.com and merchants. Recommend ads to improve advertising efficiency.

To put it bluntly, Apple takes the lead in putting IDFA in front of users and the industry abandoning third-party cookies. The main purpose is not to reduce advertisements. After all, behind the advertisements are the reasons for the successful operation of many small and medium-sized apps. Its significance is more to solve the public's Internet The company’s trust issue.

Internet companies used to be regarded as a symbol of openness and high efficiency, but the loan advertisements that refreshed the bottom line last time in short video applications, big data scandals involving different people and different prices for the same product, Internet companies greedily request personal data, all It consumes people's trust and patience one after another.

When the patience is exhausted, just like the story of the wolf coming, the Internet will lose people's support.

Abandoning IDFA is a self-determination for Internet companies, and it is also a new beginning for them to embrace user value and build good products.

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