The recent changes introduced by Apple in iOS 13 have had a prominent decrease in background location traffic done by advertising companies. According to a report, published by FastCompany there has been a massive 68 percent decrease in background location data.
The decrease comes as a result of how iOS 13 manages location data and gives users more control over which apps can track their location while running in the background. For example, iOS 13 now periodically tells the user that an app is tracking his or her location and gives users the option to turn the feature off. iOS 13 also gives user the option to only allow an app access to their location data once, instead of giving the app continuous access. This way the app can only track user’s location while it is being actively used and not while it is running in the background.
Background location tracking isn’t the only type of location tracking that has seen a decrease in recent months. According to Location Sciences foreground location data sharing, which happens while the app is being actively used on the screen has also dropped 24 percent. This could be credited to iOS allowing users to only allow location tracking a single time as well as awareness among users who now understand how their location data can be shared with advertisers for their commercial gains.
In addition to Apple changing the way iOS apps can track location in iOS 13, Google has also made similar changes in Android 10, as now the operating system also enables users to choose to share location with an app through the ‘only while in use’ setting.
The report goes in detail about how marketers plan on countering the falling rate of location data available to them from smartphone users. Now it is reported that they are looking to turn to IP addresses for tracking a user’s location, however that is going to provide far less accurate data when compared with direct location tracking through smartphone’s GPS.
Another factor that will make the life of marketers even harder is the increasing use of VPN services by users, as users can completely hide their location and other identifiable data while pretending to be in entirely different state or country.
You can read the full report here.