Apple’s upcoming iOS 9 will focus heavily on user privacy. We reported earlier this month that the iOS 9 has added Content Blockers to Safari Extensions to let users block advertisements, cookies, images, and popups. It would affect advertisers and publishers that rely on ad sales for a major chunk of their total revenue. And now the Cupertino company is taking its fight against advertisers a step further.
iOS 9 to make it difficult to scan users’ devices
Amir Efrati of The Information reports that, with iOS 9, Apple will no longer allow advertisers to access users’ app download data for advertising purposes. It means marketers and advertisers won’t be able to see the apps a user has downloaded on their iDevice. Currently, businesses like Facebook and Twitter scan your iPhone or iPad to see the apps you have installed and then show you relevant ads.
For instance, if you have downloaded a lot of free camera apps, they may serve you ads for another camera app that you haven’t yet downloaded. Advertisers misuse a communication application programming interface (API) called ‘canopenURL’ to access app download data. But the iOS 9 will make it impossible to scan users’ devices.
iOS 9 may also spell trouble for free apps
The API’s purpose is to make it easier for apps to communicate. However, advertisers use it to see which apps a user has downloaded. The iOS 9 would also spell trouble for free apps that rely on ad revenue. Advertisers and publishers are worried about Apple’s crackdown on advertising. Meanwhile, some experts argue that the Content Blockers in Safari would require users to go out of their way to block ads, so not all iOS 9 users would do that.
Only those people are likely to block ads on their mobile devices that already do it on their desktop, says Lisa Eadicicco of Business Insider. Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed Facebook and Google for exploiting users’ personal data. The Siri and Search features in iOS 9 will be completely anonymous, and are not shared with third-parties.