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Apple’s IOS14 Update and its effects on Google Analytics

Tony Villanova - February 19, 2021

In June 2020 Apple announced plans at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to have new privacy measures in place with the release of IOS14 on mobile devices. There has been a lot of confusion around what these new measures are and how they are going to affect tracking platforms such as Google Analytics as well as Digital Marketing initiatives/ advertising.

The majority of these changes are relating to third-party cookies that are primarily used for remarketing or retargeting and also attribution within Digital advertising. In the past your application could harvest data from the users who installed it. This would allow you to get very granular on how you could target current or potential customers with your advertising. Within your application you now have to have a privacy policy in place and it needs to ask the user for permission to collect data which they can opt-out of. Your application must also have a way for the user to request to have their data removed. These changes are along the same lines of what was done for GDPR on tracking Cookies. Hence why we are all seeing the cookie consent boxes that pop-up on websites now.

Platforms such as Facebook and their application have been impacted by these changes. Facebook has released what these changes limit your ability to do within the platform:

  • Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
  • Measure and report on conversions from certain customers
  • Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
  • Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
  • Predict and optimize cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets

More on the changes to Facebook can be read here: https://www.facebook.com/business/apple-ios-14-speak-up-for-small-business/impact-on-ads-marketing

Some argue that Safari 14 also received these updates because it is essentially an application. You are not wrong that Safari 14 also got privacy updates with the release of IOS14 but the great news is-is that Google Analytics is a 1st party cookie not a 3rd party cookie which means that not only is Google Analytics NOT affected by the current changes, but it also means that the information is downloaded from Google’s servers and not a 3rd party. Most of the trackers that were affected were those that carry cross-site cookies aka 3rd party cookies.

Additional FAQ’s from Apple’s website can be found here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/user-privacy-and-data-use/. However, if you have any questions please reach out to MoreVisibility. We can help guide you on your data collection journey!

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