In an Apple commissioned study, reporting demonstrates that the firm has not benefitted financially from App Tracking Transparency. And Apple is expanding its presence and relationship with Ireland with new testing facilities.

App Tracking Transparency

According to Kinshuk Jerath, Professor of Business in the Marketing Division at Columbia Business School, Apple has not benefitted in any meaningful way from App Tracking Transparency. The professor outlined various interesting points in his report that may go some way to assuage regulators of the significant privacy benefits afforded by the feature. Regulators had questioned if the feature has benefited Apple’s own advertising business and the report makes it clear that this isn’t the case.

From the report:

  1. Apple is unlikely to have significantly benefitted from ATT because
    Apple Search Ads is a small part of the overall mobile advertising market,
    and because displaced advertising spending could move to many other
    companies that effectively leverage first-party data for advertising
  2. Growth in Apple Search Ads predated the introduction of ATT and
    is likely driven in part by other factors 
  3. Offering users an active choice in the Personalized Ads prompt calls into question
    the notion that Apple introduced ATT to benefit its ads business

In October 2021, the Financial Times reported that App Tracking Transparency had resulted in a “windfall” for Apple’s advertising business. The report claimed that Apple’s share of the mobile app advertising market tripled in the six months after the feature was introduced. Apple said the feature was designed to protect users and not to advantage the company.


The AppleTLDR take

App Tracking Transparency has one goal, and one goal alone. To offer consumers a choice. Do they want to trade privacy for personalized experiences? Or would they rather retain privacy albeit without being tracked across apps and the web? The fact that Apple has its own ads business is almost irrelevant since users are asked if they would like to opt-in or out of personalised ads during device setup. Furthermore, app tracking transparency targets all ad providers including Apple’s own.

The objections to App Tracking Transparency are about money. Meta, Google and all the other usual suspects don’t like it because they can’t gather information about you, piece it all together and then target you with ads that make them higher revenues. Instead, they have to show you privacy-preserving non-targeted ads that earn them less revenue per click. Follow the money.

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