Apple’s iOS 15 & its impact on marketing data

Apple’s iOS 15 is making its way onto devices. Alongside the usual bug fixes and app advancements it plans to make changes to data privacy which will impact marketing data – specifically when it comes to email marketing. 


Head of Digital, Dave Mallalieu shares his initial thoughts  “Following the announcement we immediately questioned how this would impact our marketing analytics. As you can imagine, we’re always  monitoring and adapting our data capturing and reporting , based on industry updates – such as the introduction of iOS 14 in September last year. 


It’s early days and we won’t know the full effect until people start updating and using these services. We’re confident we can make tangible marketing decisions regardless of Apple’s ever-changing privacy updates. As we progress into the age of 3rd-party cookies being removed, we will continuously look to reduce any potential impact and maximise any opportunities.” 


We’ve navigated the impending changes and have shared insights into the new operational system implications: 


  1. Mail Privacy Protection – leading to unreliable data 


Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection stops email senders (aka email marketing teams) from seeing IP addresses and open rates. 


It won’t initiate by default but if selected by the user, there’ll be no way of knowing if an email has been read, where they are located and what device they are using. The good news is we’ll still be able to monitor engagement as ​​clicks and click-tracking won’t be affected, but open rates will be unreliable.


You can read more information about this over on MailChimp’s website. There’s reports that the update may lead to emails being listed as opened even if that isn’t the case…


  1. Hide my email – reducing email database growth 


Email marketing teams could also see the impact of iOS 15’s  ‘hide my email’ feature. This allows the user to complete online forms using a unique random email address. Avoiding their data being shared with third-parties. In turn, reducing the opportunities to generate personalised  email databases as a result of form completion. 


  1. iCloud Private Relay – impacting website analytics 


We’ll see the introduction of web traffic being routed through various servers in an effort to keep the location browsers hidden. The reason for this is to prevent anyone (including those looking closely at Google Analytics and Apple) from gaining an understanding of what users are looking at online.  


Apple is taking a two-step approach to introduce this: 


  1. By using Apple owned servers to encrypt the URLs people are visiting and then removing the information tied to it that could reveal the browsers identity 
  2. Meanwhile, a “trusted partner” of Apple will assign a temporary IP address 


Essentially, hiding IP addresses, location and browsing history from any websites visited while using Safari on iPhone. 


We’re yet to see how these changes will impact our data analytics but do see this as an opportunity to innovate and continuously improve. Developing and advancing our approach based on the ever-changing digital landscape. 

If you would like to discuss the impact in more depth, please don’t hesitate to contact us.