68% of iOS 13 users opt out of location sharing impacting campaign measurement

Anne Freier | January 24, 2020

Mobile Advertising

More than two-thirds (68%) of iPhone users have opted out of sharing their always-on location data when iOS 13 rolled out last year in September.

Now, research by location intelligence company Location Sciences finds that this has had consequences for marketers who will have to adapt in order to measure and optimise their campaigns.

When GPS data runs in the background on a device it regularly sends location updates multiple times a day to help marketers build audiences and validate visits. In contrast, IP data is used to define a location.

Both, GPS and IP data, are used by marketers as part of, for example, programmatic bidding, to deliver dynamic ads, or to optimise dynamic creatives.

The company also found a 24% drop in foreground location data sharing as fewer users enabled location sharing with apps. This has had a direct impact on media quality and advertising performance.

“Operating system privacy updates are fantastic for consumers, but they have a significant impact on the quality and availability of location data used within marketing,” says Jason Smith, Chief Business Officer, U.S., Location Sciences. “We’re seeing a noticeable decrease of (already scarce) high-quality GPS data as well as an increase in the use of poor-quality IP data. This is driving a significant shift in media delivery across planning, measurement, audience development, and attribution.”

There are a few things marketers can do to prepare and avoid campaign issues due to lack of location data. Location Sciences recommends:

  • Audit your location reliant technology solutions: Both iOS 13 and other privacy regulation will limit access to highly accurate and privacy compliant location data to a shrinking portion of suppliers in the market. Demand use of an independent and third-party partner to accurately identify credibility of your partner’s claims.
  • Keep your eyes wide open to IP: Pay particularly close attention to the use of IP within location-based marketing efforts and measurement. As GPS data continues to decrease – heightened use of IP can be expected. Heavy or inaccurate use of IP can ripple through media delivery, personalized ad experience, audience segmentation and most importantly location analytics. 
  • Be prepared for location data’s increase in premium cost and value: Users that do not allow the sharing of both foreground and background location data will require an improved user experience in exchange for their data. As access to accurate and privacy compliant data decreases, marketers can expect the cost of location marketing to increase.