The limits of data tracking in digital advertisement

In recent years, a worrying subject has surfaced for social media users. The lack of limits to data tracking in the digital advertisement industry made a lot of people talk. Indeed, a recent documentary has caused an uprising frustration with its arrival on Netflix, The Social Dilemna. It reveals the power of large corporations to not only deliver personalized content for each consumer, but also to manipulate these behaviours! So, it is not the user or their data that is sold to advertisers, but rather the power to alter their behaviour without them noticing. Indeed, tracking system, which was once a simple way, to know which websites you visited became this evolved surveillance system to which any web activity is sold and shared without permission.

In the news, this global issue in the digital advertisement industry has challenged this power with the new Apple update and its APP tracking transparency feature or iOS 14! This feature now allows consumers of apple products to prevent, for example, Google or Facebook from tracking their users. It means that they cannot exchange the consumers’ data with each other. Applications can still use first-hand data, such as age or location. However, they are no longer able to exchange them with third parties if the users prevent them from it.

The limits of data tracking in digital advertisement

This privacy policy, while very beneficial to Apple’s corporate social responsibility , could revolutionize the app and digital advertisement economy. Indeed, it could put some small businesses struggling to manage their budgets on the free Internet at risk.

The impacts of limited data tracking on big corporations

Two business models clash. On one side,  Apple, which sells high-priced electronic devices, and on the other Facebook or Google, which offers free services that are almost entirely funded by this essential data exchange. A lot of reporters argue that this update was not because Apple to be genuinely interested in the privacy of its users. It would rather be from  the financial benefits and the limit imposed on developers to serve targeted ads. Indeed, it’s no wonder that the update generates furious reactions mainly from Facebook. They blame Apple of encouraging new business to rely less on advertising and more on subscriptions giving them more money.

At the end of the day, both Apple and Facebook are trying to protect and beneficiaries themselves towards this iOS 14 update. The clash creates this ethical dilemma between privacy and advertisement. On one side, respect for the privacy of humans and data tracking becomes essential to control. On the other side, advertising ecosystems essential for every business promises heavy consequences in the world of business.

Sources:

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1787779/apple-ciblage-publictaire-choix-internautes-facebook-google

https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/2/22415824/facebook-instagram-notice-ios-apps-free-privacy-tracking