Apple’s approach has ventured well beyond access codes for privacy. The operating system that the technology company recently unveiled includes features like the ability to use a single Apple sign-in to forego separate login (and therefore, personal data collection) by giants like Google and Facebook. Other privacy features include protections against location tracking and removing app developers’ ability to access certain user information.
This last feature alone promises to severely damage the app developers who supply Apple’s store. By forcing them to accept this new layer of user privacy, the company is removing one of the most lucrative avenues of profit for app developers: customer information.
Apple feels strongly enough about consumer privacy that it’s taking this risk. In addition, these new features put a layer of security between Google, Facebook and other huge data collectors.
As a company that has historically stayed one step ahead of consumer needs, Apple’s latest news should cause marketers to sit up and pay attention. Increased consumer demands for privacy are on the horizon.
So what does this move mean for marketers? If they are no longer able to collect what can be seen as mostly passive user data, marketers must adjust quickly. While the methods for gaining this data are still to be seen, we can start to prepare for the big changes that are coming. Consider some of these preliminary steps:
Brush up on regulations. Guidelines put in place by GDPR and California’s new Privacy Protection Act will set the barriers for what marketers can collect and how informed consumers need to be about how their data is being used. Still, these regulations are just the beginning and intended to set the stage for a much broader conversation about privacy and corporate responsibility.
Look to new technology. New approaches like blockchain and crypto techniques are laying the foundation for consumers to have more control over their own data and experiences. Forward-thinking companies are putting these new methods to work in a myriad of industries, including marketing and advertising. This could provide ways to fulfill consumers' need for accountability and transparency into processes and data collection.
Create new messaging. This can be both an internal and external function. Start finding your company’s voice when it comes to consumer privacy and take a stand. Train internal teams that protecting individual privacy is vital, and tell your external audiences that it is a priority for you. This will put you in a better position as these concerns continue to rise among your audiences.
So while consumers may love the added privacy and security, challenges remain for marketers.
And maybe it’s time for me to enable two-factor authentication, in preparation for Apple’s privacy and security forward release of iOS 13.