Apple Launches New Ad ‘Privacy on iPhone,’ Focuses on Data Brokers and Auctions

On Wednesday, iPhone maker Apple launched a new global advertising campaign that underscores the company’s commitment to privacy.

Apple is addressing the issue of data brokers in a new commercial titled “Privacy on iPhone.” The iPhone company is airing billboards and other forms of advertising pushing on privacy in addition to a 90-second ad that will appear on social and YouTube.

The iPhone maker’s ad campaign focuses on how businesses acquire and sell user data to third parties for advertising purposes. It highlights how built-in iOS tools like App Tracking Transparency (ATT), App Privacy Report, and Mail Privacy Protection assist consumers in combating data brokers.

The commercial depicts a woman named Ellie perusing a record store when she comes across a secret data auction in Apple’s commercial. It shows how Ellie activates Apple’s ATT and Mail Privacy Protection, which stops marketing emails from seeing her activities and enables her to reclaim her privacy and keep her information safe.

Apple’s purpose, however, may not be to educate the public, reports say. It is probably to set itself apart from the rest of the IT industry as the type of corporation that will protect its customers’ privacy. This has aroused the wrath of firms like Facebook parent Meta (FB), which claims that Apple’s ATT technology will cost the social media company $10 billion by 2022.

In April, an interesting study of 1,759 iOS apps before and after Apple implemented a major privacy feature — aka ATT — found the measure has made tracking more difficult by preventing the collection of the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which can be used for cross-app user tracking.

The researchers found little change to tracking libraries baked into apps and also saw many apps still collecting tracking data despite the user having asked the apps not to be tracked. Additionally, evidence of app makers engaging in privacy-hostile fingerprinting was also revealed. This could have been done through the use of server-side code.

Earlier this week, on its support page, Apple detailed all of the security fixes in its latest software for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices. Over 50 security patches are included in iOS 15.5 and macOS 12.4 respectively.


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