Procter & Gamble Co. was one of the companies working with the China Advertising Association to test a new data collection tool designed to get around Apple’s rules for transparency in app tracking, reports Wall Street Journal.
The state-sponsored China advertising agency developed a new method of tracking users called CAID to replace access to IDFA or the advertising identifier for an iPhone or iPad. As of iOS 14.5, Apple will not allow apps to access IDFA on a device without explicit user permission, which will affect the tracking of multiple apps and websites used for ad targeting.
CAID has been in testing in China with major companies such as Baidu, ByteDance (TikTok) and Tencent, as well as Proctor and Gamble. In mid-March, Apple began warning developers not to circumvent transparency in app tracking using methods such as CAID. Apple has told developers that attempts to circumvent the new ad tracking restrictions will lead to removal from the App Store.
“The terms and conditions of the App Store apply equally to all developers worldwide, including Apple,” said an Apple spokesman. Wall Street Journal. “We strongly believe that users should be asked for permission before being tracked. Apps found to ignore the user’s choice will be rejected.”
As a major worldwide advertiser, P&G has an interest in tracking users, and is the largest Western company involved in creating an option for transparency in app tracking. P&G owns many major brands that include Gillette, Charmin, Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Pantene, Crest, Febreeze and many more.
In a statement, P&G said Wall Street Journal that it provides input to the China Advertising Agency in an effort to “deliver useful content consumers want in a way that prioritizes privacy, transparency and consent.” Delivering useful content to consumers “means collaborating with platforms and publishers – both directly and through our advertising associations around the world.”
P&G maintains its own consumer database that is not dependent on Facebook, Google and other advertising platforms. According to Wall Street Journal, P&G has built a database of 1.5 million customers worldwide using a combination of anonymous consumer IDs and personal information that customers share. P&G largely uses this database in China, where they use 80 percent of their digital ads to buy on targeted ads.
P&G declined to offer further details about the CAID tool and did not say whether it will use the technology. It is not yet clear how Apple will respond to CAID if some of the largest companies in the world use the ad tracking option. When news of the warnings from Chinese developers came out, a Chinese veteran in the marketing industry said that Apple’s actions could “stop” CAID testing.
Other US companies including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Nielsen are also collaborating with China Advertising Agency on CAID.
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