warning cone on a keyboard representing data privacy
Protecting personal information in a digital world is a growing concern. Apple has just previewed new privacy protection measures intended to give users more control of their data. 
The measures give a clear insight into the increasing need to protect our digital lives. 
While many businesses might see these changes as barriers to their marketing effort,Protecting your data from third parties – the measures include changes to the Mail app that will prevent senders from adding invisible pixels to collect information from recipients. Senders won’t know when their emails have been opened and the internet (IP) address will be masked so it can’t be linked to other online activity or a location. That’s a blow for click through rate (CTR) and click-to-open rate (CTOR) figures and location-based messaging. 
App privacy – users can now view an app privacy report to see how often each of their apps has accessed their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the last seven days. If the amount of access is too high, they can quickly find out where their information has been used and change their app settings. 
Internet privacy - Private Relay is a new in-built internet privacy service for iCloud that encrypts all the information leaving a users’ device, so no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it. This could mean that your analytics will no longer show where your website visitors have come from. 
Email security - Hide My Email will allow users to share unique, random email addresses at any time that forward to their personal inbox if they want to keep their personal email address private. Built directly into Safari, iCloud settings, and Mail, this option will allow users to create and delete as many addresses as they want at any time. Marketers could find themselves holding a lot of redundant addresses in future. 

What new digital privacy measures mean for marketers 

Apple’s decision to limit IDs for advertisers (IDFAs) last year has already raised concerns. IDFA opt-in rates with device fingerprinting and email-based identity solutions to build user profiles across unrelated websites and apps will soon be things of the past. 
Before long, digital insights will depend on the user clicking on an app or webpage, possibly only providing a view of their behaviour for that single visit. 
Customers are taking back control. Marketing notifications will be limited by machine learning and powerful new user settings. New ways to tempt users to view content, to take action, and to share information will be needed. 
Apple is taking an important step, recognising that consumer trust is failing. For the longer term, these and many more changes are needed. Other companies are likely to follow. 

Data privacy and ethics 

While many businesses might see these changes as barriers to their marketing effort, they also represent an opportunity to build your brand as an ethical company that takes customer privacy very seriously. 
You can highlight how you collect, store, and use data and specifically ask for permission to send personalised offers to your customers. 
Rather than relying on default digital permissions you can specifically ask potential customers to provide their contact details and give them control over how it is used. 
As the automated and generalised tools to send push notifications and to harvest information about customer behaviour diminish, marketers will need to find more thoughtful and sympathetic ways to reach their clients. 
Rather than blanket digital messaging to capture customer ‘micro moments’ when they turn to their mobile device, promotions will need to be planned and researched and channels chosen carefully. 
When you make the right offers to your customers with thoughtfully considered and well-designed magazine advertisements or leaflets delivered directly to your customers’ homes or business addresses you have an opportunity to start a genuine dialogue immediately. 
For advice on carefully planned and thoughtful print advertising, please contact us. 
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