Is your phone listening to you?

“I swear my phone is listening to me!”

Whom amongst us hasn’t had that conversation with friends? “I just had a conversation with Homer about holidaying in the Maldives and up pops adverts for holidays in the Maldives on my Facebook”. Or “I was talking to Marge about trellis for my garden and the next thing I know Facebook is advertising trellises”.

Well, Apple are about to change all that. At their WWDC 2021 conference yesterday (Worldwide Developers Conference), they announced changes to privacy. Which they hope will prevent such tracking and unsolicited targeted ads.

How will this impact email?

Where these changes may impact us as email marketers is in relation to the new Mail Privacy Protection function in the Mail App. Essentially, it’s designed to allow users to control whether they pull the open mail gif.  This provides ESPs (and by extension our customers) with Open Mail stats, as well as IP and browser information. Watch this youtube video, from the conference. We’ve snipped it from around the 51 mins 20 secs mark to jump straight in, when you watch it you’ll see the pun was intended!

Currently we don’t have the details as to how they’re going to do this. Whether it will be images off by default or whether they’ll have a huge list of ESP tracking domains as a look up and search for key indicators such as 1x1pixel gifs. When we have more details, we’ll let you all know.

For right now, expect email to change and for Open Mail tracking, already a soft metric to become even softer.

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