iOS 15 is the delayed detonation of the iOS 14.5 privacy bomb

If you’re not at all engaged in mobile, mobile marketing, or mobile advertising, none of this will make sense to you. But in iOS 14.5, Apple made a small change with massive impact: hiding device identifiers from advertisers without explicit consent.

The goal: better privacy for iPhone owners. Which is, most would agree, generally speaking a good thing. However, for a lot of complicated reasons, it’s not working perfectly.

From my recent post on my client Singular’s website:

But the job is incomplete.

iOS 14.5 was supposed to boost iPhone owners’ privacy and protect them from internet tracking if they choose. And it does, in some narrow circumstances. Only about 20% of people allow tracking in App Tracking Transparency, and that has some impact on what adtech companies do, and what data gets shared.

But it hasn’t really boosted privacy that much, according to an independent investigation by former Apple employee …

iOS 15, however, will likely finish the job. That’s where Apple has introduced Private Relay … essentially a mini-VPN that only covers mobile web, is in beta, and is frequently down for upgrades and/or servicing.

My bet, however, is that Apple will make it device-wide. And that’s when the privacy bomb that Apple dropped in iOS 14.5 will hit mobile marketers the hardest.

Get all the details in my post …