Apple just crippled IDFA, sending an $80 billion industry into upheaval


Yesterday Apple killed the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) without killing the IDFA, by taking it out of the depths of the Settings app where almost no-one could find it — although increasingly people were finding it and turning it off — and making it explicitly opt-in for every single app. If an app wants to use the IDFA, iOS 14 will present mobile users with a big scary dialog box.

This is actually a genius move by Apple. Marketers can’t really get upset about losing the IDFA capability, because technically it’s still around. Apple gets to burnish its privacy credentials while not taking huge amounts of flack from brands and advertisers because, after all, who can argue with giving people more rights with their personal data?

And make no mistake: this is a great move for user privacy.

But it’s also a huge problem for a massive industry.

While I’m generally loathe to link to anything coming out of the Forbes Contributor Network, this is a well-done piece. Let’s all shed one single solitary crocodile tear in false sympathy for an industry that did everything it possibly could to abuse users.