More than two thirds of iOS 13 users have opted out of sharing location data

Following the introduction of iOS 13 in September 2019, more than two thirds (68%) of iOS 13 users opted out of sharing their background (always-on) location data. This impacts several key elements of the marketing toolkit, including audience quality, attribution and footfall confidence, multi-touch attribution, and dynamic creative optimization.

That’s the finding of an analysis conducted by Location Sciences, a global location intelligence company, of just over two billion background location events over a 5-week period.

Location Sciences also observed a 24% drop in foreground location data sharing, with fewer users only enabling apps to access their location when they are using them. This decrease in foreground data has a direct impact on media quality and 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, US, 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.

Smith provides the following advice for marketers:

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.

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