How Apple’s iOS 15 Privacy Features Will Impact Small Businesses

by | September 4, 2021 | Cybersecurity News

In June, Apple’s announced big changes in its iOS 15 privacy features, coming as early as September, set to change email marketing as we know it. Sure, this is good news for the end consumer, but what happens to small and solo businesses?

Keep reading, as we’ll shed a bit of light on this double-edged sword.

iOS 15 Privacy Features – What’s All The Fuss About?

Apple has some cool new features up its sleeve to improve your end experience regarding privacy and security. As a result, a lot of apps will see some major improvement, including the following:

  • The Mail app, Apple’s default email client on mobile and desktop, is getting a lot of attention with the latest update. A new and interesting feature called Mail Privacy Protection will help you avoid tracking pixels embedded in emails that filter back your location and other information about you back to the sender.
  • App Privacy Report will allow you to keep a closer eye on the apps you’ve installed, notifying you about how frequently they access your location, media, camera, microphone, and contacts during the previous week.
  • Siri will also see some improvements in speech recognition and command processing, more of the work being done on your specific device to cut back on the amount of data sent to Apple.
  • iCloud+ is another new feature that you’re going to get along with iCloud. What grabs the attention here is the iCloud Private Relay tool, which is Apple’s version of a VPN. It will keep your location and data private.
  • Hide My Email will enable you to generate an unlimited number of unique, random email addresses to sign up to new apps and services. Hide My Email will be built into Mail, iCloud, and Safari.

A Closer Look To ‘Mail Privacy Protection’

Apple will add a new tab to the Mail app on its products, called Mail Privacy Protection, once iOS 15 arrives. In it, users have the option to stop email senders from using tracking pixels – invisible pixels that gather recipient data, such as whether a recipient opened an email, the time they opened it, their device type, location, and IP address.

While the end-user might be thrilled with such privacy improvements, marketers who rely on this data in their decision-making process, not so much, to say the least.

All this comes right after the iOS 14.5 update, which featured a new policy that restricted certain types of data gathering. As a result, ads personalization and performance reporting became limited for small companies using, for instance, Facebook advertising.

The latest iOS updates are dealing a blow to small businesses that depend on data collection to deliver relevant content, ad targeting, and monetization.

Small Businesses Need To Brace For Impact

Email marketers were the most outraged because of the changes, and understandably so. Open rates are heavily used as KPI to measure user engagement and the overall performance of email campaigns. In addition, email marketers will no longer be able to modify and improve their campaigns based on user behavior.

The effects are ever so devastating as Apple products cover a large portion of the email market.

But this change doesn’t need to turn into a catastrophe for email marketers. On the contrary, while we can’t deny it’s a heavy blow to small businesses, this could open a door for new possibilities in terms of creativity and finding more reliable metrics to base your decisions on.

No one can deny that we all need a more data-protected internet experience, with everything that has happened and the almost overnight shift from offline to online. Apple is moving towards a more secure environment for its customers.

While these changes will definitely force marketers and advertisers to change their strategies, they are now faced with the chance to reinvent marketing practices and think outside the box. All the while, users will have more control over data and the way it is used. Put simply, it can be turned into a win-win situation with a tad of creativity.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And also, make sure you make good use of our ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training.





Feature Image: Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Marketing illustrations by Storyset

People illustrations by Storyset

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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