Sara Nelson
May 24, 2021

Apple spells it out with new ad for app tracking privacy feature

Watch the film conceptualised by TBWA\Media Arts Lab

Apple has showcased the app tracking transparency (ATT) privacy feature on iOS in a new ad.

Extensive tracking occurs online and in apps, with that data being collected, shared, aggregated and monetised. This app purports to give users the option to protect their personal information and privacy.

The new Apple spot illustrates this by following the journey of an individual going about his daily routine, with each scene reflecting an app people commonly use.

From a coffee shop, to taking a taxi, more and more businesses track him until he’s surrounded by a large group of people, all vying for his data. When he takes out his iPhone and starts to decline the ATT requests for apps to track him, the trackers following him begin to disappear, one by one.

It was created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab and produced by MJZ.

Data released earlier this month suggests ATT has a strong appeal among iPhone users; just one in every 25 iPhone users (4%) that had installed iOS 14.5 were opting in to app tracking, according to US data analytics firm Flurry.

The launch of iOS 14.5 in April was the beginning of the end of automatic access for app owners to IDFA (ID for advertisers), allows them to track users across apps. Despite stark warnings from Facebook that the change could have a severe impact on advertisers’ business, 81% of UK marketers expressed support for the change in a recent survey.

Digital experience company Acquia polled 500 marketing professionals in March and April, and found that 81% thought Apple’s move to implement ATT was “very good” or “somewhat good”.

Facebook, which is one of the world’s most valuable companies on the back of targeted advertising, was starkly opposed to the privacy push, declaring that the plan would “change the internet as we know it—for the worse.”

The social media giant claimed advertisers should expect a reduction in being able to accurately target consumers, and more difficulty measuring the success of said campaigns.

On average, apps include six “trackers” from other companies, with the sole purpose of collecting and tracking people and their personal information. The data collected fuels an industry valued at US$227 billion per year, with Apple’s campaign aiming to empower individuals with the tools and knowledge to protect their personal information.

(This article first appeared on

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