Apple's PR war on data sharing: cheeky auction ad hammers rivals

iPhone takes a swipe at data harvesters and champions the recent 'ATT' customer privacy clampdown, which has upended performance marketing budgets around the world.

Apple's PR war on data sharing: cheeky auction ad hammers rivals

Apple has launched its latest ad highlighting iPhone privacy features such as App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection, designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected.

The commercial uses a real-life auction to help viewers understand the complex nature of data aggregation and sale.

The ad centres on a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her iPhone's emails, purchase history, location data, contacts and browsing history, which she halts using her iPhone’s privacy features.

According to a report from Apple last year, the average mobile app has six embedded trackers from third-party companies for the "sole purpose of collecting and tracking people and their personal information," fuelling an industry valued at $227bn per year.

Marketers struggle to communicate the data value exchange to consumers

The ad could further compound mistrust among consumers around data privacy, as marketers struggle to deal with lost visibility of user behaviour and winning consent to share data.

According to a new analysis from Lotame, the iPhone maker’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) features will cost Facebook $12.8bn in 2022.

The ad comes as Apple has been advocating against regulations like the European Union's proposed Digital Markets Act, which would force Apple to allow sideloading of apps on the iPhone outside of the App Store. In recent months, Apple has argued that sideloading would expose iPhone users to privacy and security risks.

In addition to the video running on Youtube, TV, and social channels, Apple is also rolling out a campaign that will place billboards in major cities emphasizing that “Privacy. That’s iPhone.”


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