How will Apple's New Privacy Controls Affect Advertisers?

Apple's latest software update for iOS and macOS introduced several new features to protect device users' privacy. Find out what was changed and how your business may be affected.

What did Apple change?

Apple announced several new privacy controls for their iOS 15 (iPad and iPhone) and desktop macOS Monterey.  The changes to Apple Mail affect the entire email industry — they are not only impacting brands working with Jeeng.

There were three major changes:

  • Mail Privacy Protection (MPP).  This change will hide the user device, reduce the accuracy of their location and fetch images in the background. (MPP) is an opt-in feature that stops senders from using pixels to track users and collect data about them
  • iCloud+ Private Relay. This change will hide the user device & reduce the accuracy of their location in Safari
  • Hide My Email will allow users to generate a unique email for each newsletter subscription. This change lets users keep their email addresses private by automatically sharing random, anonymous addresses with publishers and brands, making it more difficult to identify users and stitch their identities together

When did these changes take place?

The changes were included in the Sep 20, 2021 update to iOS 15 (iPhone and iPad) and Mac OS Monterey.  As a result of the update, the industry will start to see a shift in engagement metrics, specifically email open rates and ad impressions.


What impact should the industry expect to see?

  • Device targeting will no longer be available for a large amount of Apple traffic, as it no longer be possible to distinguish between Apple platforms (desktop, phone, tablet) for Apple Mail users and some Safari users
  • The precision of state-level geo location will be reduced. City and metro-code targeting will have an unknown level of accuracy, although we believe state-level geo location will still be accurate for the majority of users. Country level targeting will continue to be available.
  • The open and impressions metrics will be artificially inflated
  • Ads will be cached in Apple Mail for 2-3 days, meaning that they will no longer dynamically refresh


How does this change affect Advertisers? 

  • The update will affect email campaigns that target Apple iPhone, iPad and Mac devices
  • Device targeting is no longer supported for a large amount of Apple users
  • The precision of state-level geo location is reduced in specific cases
  • The open rate metric will be artificially inflated, impacting the calculated CTR & RPM numbers
  • Ads will no longer refresh for Apple Mail users


How is the public who own Apple devices or use Safari with an iCloud subscription affected?

End users will be able to enable these new privacy settings to block their device information, exact location and email address from being known and collected.


What has Jeeng done to help customers better manage this change? 

Within the portal, we have added a new filter on a campaign or campaign line which allows our Advertiser customers to determine who to target, they can select only Apple users, exclude all Apple users, or target all users. This allows our customers to filter based on an Apple Proxy.


What is a proxy and what does it have to do with the changes Apple has made?

A proxy server can change an IP address so a web server doesn’t know exactly where a user is located. It can also encrypt your data - such as email address, email opens and ad impressions - to make it unreadable by other third-party applications.

In the case of Apple’s iOS 15 , Apple is sending traffic through their own servers, to protect privacy by hiding the user’s device and real IP address.


How does this new feature appear in the UI?


What are the recommended settings for a new campaign? 

For new campaigns, the recommended settings are:

  • One campaign line to target desktop
  • One campaign line to target mobile
  • NEW - One campaign line to target Apple Proxy (All Devices, Apple Proxy only)

Important Notes:

By default, device types other than 'All Devices' will not include Apple Proxy traffic, so advertisers that want to exclude that traffic do not have to take any action.

For advertisers that target All Devices and want to exclude Apple Proxy, they can do so by selecting the option "Exclude Apple Proxy" on their existing campaign lines.


How can I get Apple Proxy Information In click and impression tracking URLS?   

The macro information has been added in the submission spreadsheet. Ask your Account Manager for an updated version.


What are the next steps that Jeeng is recommending for Advertisers?

  • Enable the new ability to target Apple users with a separate campaign or campaign line with the portal by using the ‘Apple Proxy’ option. The new targets will be available in impression and click tracking parameters
  • Include a new campaign line with Apple Proxy at the same CPC as your other mobile campaign line. If you have a lot of campaigns and would like us to update all of them at once, please contact your account manager
  • Review existing campaigns and decide if updates are needed. For example, for an iPhone-only campaign, you may want to add an Apple Proxy filter
  • Begin accounting for ads no longer refreshing for Apple Mail users when tracking creatives after a send has already occurred
  • Be prepared for an increase in open rate in email to reach 75% of the send metric, causing the open numbers to be artificially inflated, thus impacting impression and CTR metrics