Apple’s New Mobile Ad Strategy and Your Privacy: What You Need to Know

Apple’s New Mobile Ad Strategy and Your Privacy What You Need to KnowIn order to boost the profits of developers and increase its mobile ad presence, Apple has begun – as of Monday — tracking the browsing data of its app users.

Although founder Steve Jobs predicted back in 2010 that iAd, the company’s ad platform, would soon dominate all of mobile advertising, that hasn’t exactly happened yet and for a myriad of reasons.

Apple currently trails far behind Google, with just under 3% of the mobile ad market compared to their nearly 40%. To attract developers, they give 70% of revenues back to them, although truth be told, ad revenues make up less than 2% of their overall profits.

But Apple is trying to make mobile advertising more effective and relevant by tapping into more detailed user data.

By using a customer’s browsing data within third party apps, a whole new world of opportunity is opened up.

“Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart,” Digiday explains.

Interestingly enough,  the new policy of tracking browsing data flies in the face of Apple’s published privacy policy, which says in part that “We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers.  We don’t ‘monetize’ the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud.”

One bit of good news for those who don’t like their online “footsteps” being tracked is that users can opt-out and choose not to have their data tracked at all. At least for now.