Survey Shows Support for Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Feature

READING, England — The majority of marketers and consumers are in favor of the new App Tracking Transparency feature by Apple for its latest mobile operating system, according to a recent survey.

The U.K.-based survey this spring shows 63% of respondents believe the privacy feature is either “very good” or “somewhat good,” according to Boston-based Acquia, the company behind the survey and the maker of a Drupal-based open digital experience platform (DXP) for enterprises.

The App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature for iOS 14.5 allows users to control whether their data is shared for ad-targeting purposes on an app-by-app basis.

The feature is facing public opposition from Facebook, which launched ads against ATT, stating it will “change the internet as we know it — for the worse.”

“Initiatives such as ATT and the phasing out of third-party cookies are a valuable first step towards restoring consumer trust,” said Lynne Capozzi, chief marketing officer, Acquia.

Marketers have recognized that "to counter years of data misuse, we need to urgently give consumers back control of their data,” Capozzi said.

female employee using mobile smartphone in city

More survey findings 

Browser privacy

  • 70% of both marketers and consumers consider the decision to phase out third-party cookies by several browsers, including Safari, as either “very good” or “somewhat good” 

Some of the fears by marketers surrounding privacy changes are "understandable, given how heavily businesses have relied on third-party data in the past," Capozzi said.

Transparency and brand image

  • 81% of the marketers voice support for ATT and also indicate a desire to “re-build consumer trust through greater transparency” 

  • 34% of consumers have a more positive perception of Apple as a result 

"The increased emphasis on transparency should be seized as an opportunity and not feared as a threat,” Capozzi said.

Brand data usage

  • 57% of marketers say partly as a result of actions by companies like Apple, they have adopted more consent-driven personalization strategies or plan to in the next 12 months

  • 36% of marketers are unrelatedly looking to adopt more consent-driven personalization

“Brands have a real chance to grow their business by leveraging accurate first-party data, enabling them to provide consumers with personalized services without eroding their trust," Capozzi said.

"Our findings demonstrate that the tide is turning, and over the next 12 months, we’ll see consent-driven personalization become intrinsic to business growth.” 

Sales bump

  • 23% of consumers state they are more likely to buy Apple products as a result

  • Some respondents say it makes them less likely to do so


The survey was conducted by Censuswide, a London-based market research firm, on behalf of Acquia between March and April 2021. 

The firm surveyed 500 marketing professionals and 2,000 consumers. 

The consumer study was nationally representative of the U.K.

New iOS and Android privacy features

This spring, both Apple and Google updated the privacy features for their iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature is the most popular new privacy feature among iOS users, with 36% selecting it, according to a survey by SellCell. Overall, 73% of iOS users agree with Apple's new privacy policies.

Google's new privacy features cover user data privacy, the Google family of apps and data disclosures by developers in the Play Store.

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