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Personal data, privacy and smartphones: The marketer/consumer disconnect

What’s inside

In June of 2020, Apple announced that with the introduction of iOS 14, new privacy features would include consumer opt-in for permission to track. The rule requires apps to get explicit consent from consumers to access the device’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and transmit data to third parties.

After the October 2020 launch of, Apple, IDFA and iOS14: New Challenges, New Opportunities for Marketers and March 2021 launch of, Personal Data, Privacy & Smartphones: The Cautious Consumer, AppsFlyer and MMA Global have partnered for a third report that compares how marketers think smartphone owners view the upcoming Apple IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) opt-in requirement with how consumers think about privacy and the use of their data in general.

The study reveals differences between the concerns of consumers and marketers and suggests marketers who are unprepared for the changes likely to come from Apple’s initiative will face significant challenges.

Key findings include:

  • Marketers’ familiarity with Apple’s IDFA changes has increased since September, up from 28% to 48% for those that are familiar with the new privacy protocols, but still, more than half  are “not very familiar” with the upcoming changes.
  • Marketers underestimate the degree to which consumer concerns about online privacy influence their online behavior.  Sixteen percent of marketers think that privacy concerns impact consumer behavior, while 44% of consumers say it does.
  • Marketers overwhelmingly (83%) acknowledge that the industry has done a poor job educating consumers about data usage and the potential consumer value of tracking.

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