When you open an emailed newsletter, there are images that are not included in the message but are stored on a separate server. When you open the email, this server gets a message to open the image along with information such as your approximate location, the device you are using, and the time that you opened the email. Bloomberg
says that the data is used by publishers and brands as a way to determine how well their marketing strategy is working.
But in its new role as internet privacy cop, Apple
has a feature called "Mail Privacy Protection" that will automatically download the data held on the separate server whether you opened the email or not. But Apple will not give away your personal data such as location and the name of the device you are wielding. Considering that roughly 50% of all email is opened on an Apple app (says analytical firm Litmus Software), Apple is once again using its power to keep user data from getting into the hands of advertisers.
According to data from marketing firm Warc, from this past March 22nd, ad spending on iOS rose 10%. During the same time period ad spending on Android rose 21%. But how much is Apple really getting hurt?
Google's ad sales help it subsidize products like the Home Mini smart speaker
Andy Yen, CEO of encrypted email provider Proton Technologies says about Apple that "They’re making a big focus on privacy, but Apple is interested in the advertising market and already makes a lot of money there."
The thing to remember is that Apple can afford to accept fewer ads than Google and Facebook because of how each of the tech firms make the bulk of their profits. Apple sells devices while companies like Google and Facebook sell ads. Not only do ad sales provide those companies with big bottom lines to appease stockholders, they also help subsidize the price of the Google and Facebook devices you buy allowing them to be more affordable.