Ask App Not To Track” Means You Might Miss Out on A Better Shopping Experience

If you own an iPhone, you probably receive the below notification often since the recent update:

This change was widely covered in the news as a positive for consumers, so most of us were likely poised to “Ask App Not to Track”: protect your privacy, protect your data. Reports after the launch of iOS14.5, showed roughly 95% of iPhone users were opting out of tracking.

I allow all apps on my phone to track me, but clearly I am in the overwhelming minority. I allow tracking because I work in the advertising industry, but also because there is a return in value, in the form of relevant advertising content.

Often, when I am scrolling through content on my phone, I see ads from clothing sites I frequent, companies with services related to the work I do, and local services. I do often pause to look at these ads, consider them, and sometimes visit a related website or Google the relevant topic. These ads are not intrusive or annoying. Sometimes they give me an idea or lead me to take an action. Digital advertising should work this way.

Disabling tracking and platform ability to share and receive user data across sites, hinders an advertiser’s ability to serve relevant ads to the correct audience. This of course concerns me from a professional perspective, but I think consumers should consider this, too.

Apple continues to roll out privacy updates. The next update, iOS15, focuses on email tracking. And across the industry, there is a push for change to increase user privacy. The flip side of this push for privacy is a loss of relevant advertising tailored to every individual consumer.

In a world where we are used to tailoring our social feeds, controlling the content that we engage with, opting out of tracking randomizes the ads once might see.

The industry will continue to adapt and perhaps a solution will emerge that allows for relevant advertising for consumers without sacrificing their privacy.

This blog post was written by Colleen Winterling, Vice President Digital

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