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Platforms find room to manoeuvre around Apple's tracking block
Data protection & privacyInformation technology
Working flat out, platforms like Facebook and Snapchat that were hit hard by Apple’s Tracking Transparency policy are rebuilding their measurement infrastructure around the little room for manoeuvre available to them.
As reported by the FT, these companies have been allowed to continue sharing user-level information from iPhones on the proviso that it is anonymous and aggregated rather than linked to individual IDs.
Why it matters
Apple’s Tracking Transparency weighed on the platforms that derived a lot of revenue from their links to affluent iOS users, but a loophole suggests they have found ways to rebuild around signals rather than individual IDs.
Both companies are now telling investors that they are making up for hindrances to performance measurement with new offers that involve sharing anonymous data in aggregate.
It all hinges on Apple’s ban on “uniquely identifying” a device but finds a loophole in the observation of “signals”. This, says the paper, has led to the creation of cohort-based methodologies that echo a technology Google is working on to replace the third-party cookie, Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoCs.
While Apple hasn’t explicitly assented to this technique, the loophole – which is based on the need for advertisers to know things like screen size and language – suggests there is a way around the block.