back to article We've got some really bad news about Apple's privacy measures, Google tells iOS app devs: It'll hurt your Google ad revenue

Google on Wednesday warned iOS developers who use Google ad technology that they may see less revenue as Apple implements its privacy clampdown. Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, said Christophe Combette, group product manager for Google Ads, in a blog post, "will reduce visibility into key metrics that show …

  1. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4
    Mushroom

    First Facebook, now Google...

    Boo hoo. Fuck off.

  2. Danny 5

    Targetted adds

    It still baffles me that they're using targetted adds as an argument. I'm old, I've been on the internet for quite a long time, targetted adds were never an issue, until recently. Businesses were able to find me without having to collect ungodly amounts of data on me, they merely had more competition and weren't able to target me personally, I don't see the problem there. I see the problem for the add providers, but fuck them. Sideways. With a rake.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Targetted adds

      When GDPR came into effect, Google added a toggle in Adsense where you could set that behavioural targeting/profiling not be used for ads on your content.

      I enabled that, so ads became relevant to the content on the page they're being served on (well, at least as long as Google has indexed it at some point).

      My ad revenue and click rate increased, because the ads started actually being relevant to what the user was looking at/thinking about now, rather than being targeted based on something they browsed whilst pissed 2 weeks ago.

      Personally, I'm fairly sure that Behavioural Targeting is snake-oil that ad brokers like Google oversell the benefits of to keep the competition out and to milk their customers of extra money.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Targetted adds

        If I look at a product while I'm logged in to Amazon (which I always do in a private Firefox window on my Linux PC) and later that day visit Facebook (which always do via the app on my iPhone) I will see Facebook ads related to what I looked at on Amazon about half the time.

        Even though shopping Amazon on my phone is inconvenient due to the small screen size, after this change I might download the Amazon app and do so - because they will no longer be able to share information with each other and creep me out like that!

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Targetted adds

      "Businesses were able to find me without having to collect ungodly amounts of data on me"

      There is a reasonable anount of research that indicates that "targetted advertising" actually LOSES customers

  3. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    Devil

    I Believe .....

    I'm prepared to believe that things go better with Coke.

    And that the Ayatollah tells a darn good knock-knock joke.

    I believe that some folks can hear what Bugs Bunny is saying.

    And that Salt Lake City is a real nice place to stay in.

    I believe that J.R. really loves Sue Ellen!

    I believe that things sound better when you're yelling!

    And I believe that the devil is ready to repent!

    But I can't believe this is making me want to buy an iPhone!

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: I Believe .....

      Thanks for the reminder - I had to go and look it up again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmWLJmbytkk

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: I Believe .....

        You're welcome.

        I'm just glad that you weren't being reminded of another of their hits! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3rnC712MEw

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I Believe .....

      Yes, it is a little strange thinking that maybe Apple has got something here with regard to tracking.

      It is also true that when you have as much money as Apple has you can be cavalier with the likes of Google and Facebook as you have as nasty a set of lawyers as they have.

      So Google and Facebook don't like taking on someone their own size. The mark of a bully.

    3. John Jennings Silver badge

      Re: I Believe .....

      " that things go better with Coke."

      A lot worse (and faster) with speed....

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I Believe .....

        No, Mr Bar Steward! I asked for a pint of Coke, not a line!!!

        Line or pint, I'll take either! ------------------>

  4. John70

    Next, Apple needs to do something about the games on their platform popping up a full screen Ads everything you complete a level or something.

    Some games are more like "Advert Apps" then an actual game since they pop up after every level and last longer than actually playing the level.

    The "close button" needs to be a lot bigger and in the same location. They practically hiding the damn thing.

    As well as stop the Ad from opening App Store to download the game when you press the close button.

    Also reduce the time limit of the Ad being displayed from 30 seconds to something like 10 seconds then show the close button to cancel the Ad.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Pi-Hole

      Try a PiHole as your DNS resolver!

      When I'm not on my home WiFi I get reminded of how intrusive Ads on any platform have become (e.g. AnyClip).

      My wife thought she had accidentally purchased the premium version of an App as the volume of ads had reduced so much just after I set it up.

      I'm not against funding app developers for apps that we use, but intrusive (especially video apps) ads can just go and piss up a rope as far as I am concerned..

      1. Russ Pitcher

        Re: Pi-Hole

        If you've got halfway decent broadband you can set up OpenVPN and have your phone/laptop connect to it when not at home. That way you have better security and you can still benefit from the PiHole even when out and about.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pi-Hole

          I’ve got AdGuard on all my internet facing kit - what are adverts?

          Seriously, it blocks all ads that haven’t been embedded in a page or app itself. I occasionally turn it off to see what it’s blocking and have been quite taken aback at how much that is. Even El Reg.

          Also, on mobiles, it runs as a virtual VPN which means it filters traffic from individual apps and not just via the browser. They’re also releasing full-blown VPN apps that include ad blocking...

          1. Tom Chiverton 1

            Re: Pi-Hole

            +1 for DNS 66 on Android which does exactly this - an always on VPN that isn't really, just a hack to force a local DNS resolver that black holes traffic based on the popular hosts lists.

          2. hoola Silver badge

            Re: Pi-Hole

            That is all well and good but increasingly sites are preventing access if you use an Ad Blocked. When that happens I just go somewhere else however if more start doing this it will be difficult to see where it goes.

            The trouble is that most people just don't care agreeing to all the cookies and have no idea what an AD Blocker is.

            Potentially the next step will be some sort of premium Internet service provided by Google that reduces the ad content but makes up for it by charging a subscription.

      2. Marty McFly Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Pi-Hole

        Best piece of kit on my network. It is absolutely shocking the amount of 'phone home' which goes on from all the little widgets that are not in use. "Smart" TV talking to the mothership when no 'smart' features are enabled and it is on HDMI1 - what the heck is it reporting??

        As for advertisements... I find it no small coincidence that the Chrome & Firefox are suddenly hot on DNS over HTTPS (DoH). That goes right around my local DNS which is filtering their ads & trackers. Of course, they say it is to keep the ISP from snooping.... Right. Because the ISP is who slurps & sells data on me - not Google. So far the browsers still allow me to turn off DoH, I dread the day they insist on owning my browser DNS.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Pi-Hole

          My Pihole uses DoH, which gets round BT/Plusnet's internet filtering. My local network has split horizon DNS for local services, so I would notice very quickly if they tried to bypass that.

    2. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Meh

      Developer's fault

      "Some games are more like "Advert Apps" then an actual game..."

      Blame the developers for that one. Between 2010 and 2015 I made a bunch of mobile games: during the time I dabbled with ads, I made sure that they did not disrupt the flow of the gameplay. So the frequency of ads is pure designer/developer greed.

      Worse still are the mobile "games" that will not start if they cannot connect to the internet: instant uninstall...

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Yes, the full page ads are getting really annoying

      Especially the ones that have the "invisible" close button, or the 15 second count down before you can close it, etc. We fought a long battle in the PC world to eradicate such ads, now we have to fight the battle all over again on phones.

      The problem is basically solved in Safari, since you can use an ad blocker. But short of an external ad blocker like pi hole (which has its own downsides and isn't something a non technical person could ever set up) there isn't a way around this.

      If the Epic etc. are successful in making Apple drop the 30% cut or allow "alternate" app stores, Apple should respond by building an ad blocker into the network layer of the OS - basically pi hole inside your phone. That would be a fun war to watch!

      Maybe Apple could front run it by offering a smaller cut to "certified ad free" apps? They can charge a small amount and/or do in-app purchases to fund themselves - I always choose an ad free app for a few bucks over one with annoying ads, but sometimes you don't get the choice or the "ad free" version is lumped in with a lot of other features you don't want that are like $5/month. I don't like ads, but I'd have to really hate them to pay $60/year to avoid them on one app!

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    As per my comment on the FaceBook thread, it's incredibly generous of them both to give Apple so much free advertising. Personally I'm not in the market for a phone or tablet at all, let alone at Apple prices but if I were this would certainly be a decisive factor.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It helps with App requests from the kids

    I can now much more quickly hit the "decline" button when I can see that a game rated 4+ will access location data*, contacts, track cross app, etc.

    * though non-specific location data (e.g. country) might be justifiable in some instances.

  7. Warm Braw Silver badge

    We are working hard to understand and comply...

    ... to the minimum possible extent.

  8. DenTheMan

    Money, money, money

    Apple are very generous about losing income as long as it is others income.

    Like free TV, there is a trade off. Ads. Some are so bad they lose my trade thus the trade off.

    1. sgp Bronze badge

      Re: Money, money, money

      There is nothing wrong with ads. There is a lot wrong with scraping and hoarding every last bit of your private information. The Facebooks and Googles of this world have to be forced to change their business models.

  9. Gonzo wizard
    Thumb Up

    Wehey!

    Oh dear. What a pity. Never mind.

    My heart bleeds for them.

  10. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    "Google on Wednesday warned iOS developers who use Google ad technology that they may see less revenue as Apple implements its privacy clampdown.

    In other words, Googles drive to make Chromium more privacy friendly is a load of bollocks. If they want to restrict cookies, and user-agent fingeprinting, it's only because they have other methods of tracking....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that Chromium, or Chrome?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Sorry, yes, I meant Chrome.

        However, they are removing features from chromium to make it a less attractive choice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, the mere fact that Chromium contains Googly bits makes it in my eyes more and more attractive, especially in the light of Google's current attempts to hang on to its easy revenue through "creative acquisition" of people's personal details.

          That said, Firefox's WebRTC capability has finally arrived at a point where I could possibly discard Chromium, being the best for WebRTC was really the only reason to have Chromium on my system.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Yes, those are fair points.

            However, personally, I want to use Google bookmark and password sync, especially as chromium isn't available in some of the devices I user Chrome on.

            As for webrtc, isn't that the feature which can leak your IP address? Useful for fingerprinting if you use an IP such as 172.24.3 77

  11. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    It will just be like the Whatsapp app

    It simply won't work until you enable everything.

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: It will just be like the Whatsapp app

      A tipping point is coming where the value of privacy will outweigh the value of some stupid social media app. If the app asks for more than what I think it needs, I just delete the app.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: It will just be like the Whatsapp app

        That tipping point came the day Zuck opened his shitty website to the world outside Harvard. Some of you just haven't realised it yet.

  12. Sleep deprived
    FAIL

    Keep trying, but...

    Even before I had an ad blocker, I don't recall ever clicking on an ad. Nor replying to spam, be it by fax, phone, mail or email. I'll search for what I want or need at my sole convenience. In the meantime, lots of businesses are just wasting their money to ad brokers. On the other hand, it's cheaper to advertise junk than to make good products...

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