Getting Past ‘Don’t Allow’: Privacy, Location Data and iOS13 – BrandMuscle
Getting Past ‘Don’t Allow’: Privacy, Location Data and iOS13
October 23, 2019
By: Jason Tabeling, EVP Product Strategy

With the recent launch of iOS13, users will start to see a lot of new notifications to allow Bluetooth access to the app. This will be accompanied by a brief explanation for the main reason to allow access. This is an attempt by Apple to help provide consumers better transparency into how the apps they use leverage their Bluetooth access. Fitbit is an example of a brand that might request access to Bluetooth.

The question is what impact will it have on many of the location-specific tools businesses and marketers rely on for features of their apps? For example, advertising targeting, measurement, and app functionality.

Balancing Functional Value and Privacy

This question is just one of many that both consumers and brands will have to wrestle with. The balance between functional value and privacy are questions that consumers will have to answer with each app's request. This is a good move by Apple. Leading the industry in privacy and transparency is the right step towards gaining consumers' trust. Brands don’t really have a choice. Apple has a large market share and ignoring these consumers isn’t an option for brands who have a desire to grow.

Chris Welch's tweet starts to get at the challenge here.
"iOS13 is really putting a spotlight on the HUGE number of apps that request Bluetooth permissions. You'd better have a better explanation than this generic one if you want me to approve."

Two Things Brands Must Do

Brands must strive to be transparent with the use of their consumers' data and they need to provide value in exchange for access to this data. Value doesn’t have to mean they give a coupon or percent off the next purchase. It might simply mean a better experience, like receiving the right offer next time there is a sale when I’m in the area, or perhaps when I walk into a store my order is automatically brought to the front of the store. There are unlimited options, but in order for brands to continue to be trusted and get access to this information, they will need to reciprocate with tangible value for their consumers.

Most Consumers will Volunteer Their Data in Exchange for Value

According to one study by Axiom, 58% of consumers will share data in exchange for value. With a majority of consumers open to this approach, we know the opportunity exists, but brands must be thoughtful in their use. Another proof point towards the value of data, privacy, and transparency is the response consumers are having to GDPR and CCPA compliance changes. In a study by CapGemini, 81% of businesses who are compliant with these regulations are seeing a positive business impact.

Brands Must Embrace Transparent Communication

I expect many consumers to choose “Don’t Allow” and see if the functionality of the app is removed. If a valued feature is disabled, then they will reconsider. In either case, brands need to be aware of this change and start to think about their privacy and transparency settings. They could consider sending an e-mail to their customers explaining the alert, or provide a more detailed explanation with the alert. Currently, these alerts can be customized and don’t have a ton of requirements from Apple on what those alerts entail.

There is a lot more to come in this space and we look forward to both consumers and brands seeing the tremendous value that this data can enable on both sides of the coin, but in the meantime we all need to be aware and monitor the impact of this change.

About the author

As EVP of Product Management, Jason Tabeling creates a unified strategic roadmap for the organization across its full suite of products. Jason joined BrandMuscle as Senior Vice President of Digital in 2016. Shortly after, he led strategic efforts to combine the digital, traditional, social media and event marketing teams at BrandMuscle into a single department and center of excellence for BrandMuscle’s clients. Today that team totals 95 and counting. Under his leadership, client demand and satisfaction has grown and employees have thrived.