- Apple announced an update to its iOS 9 midweek, with privacy-friendly changes that affect how apps on iPhones and iPads function.
- The changes, first reported by The Information, would prevent app developers from accessing data generated from a user's other downloaded apps.
- Companies like Facebook and Twitter, as well as other smaller players, have used that data for ad targeting purposes, but the update will block apps from scanning a users' device.
The upcoming iOS 9 change will no longer allow apps to scan users' devices to see what other apps they have installed. The privacy-friendly move shows, as The Information puts it, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company sees using application programming interface (API) as "contrary to the iOS security model."
The update is a blow to advertisers who use API, but it benefits Apple by giving it more jurisdiction over when and where advertising can be pushed out on its products. In fact, another change coming with iOS 9 is greater ad-blocking capability in the Safari browser.
It is also a hit to Twitter and Facebook, who are reliant on such download data.
In early June, Twitter rolled out a new ad feature, called "installed app category targeting," specifically for advertisers to target users based on apps they had downloaded. Twitter has been tracking app downloads since last November, but is just now using the information for advertising. Facebook has relied on download data for some time for its mobile app install business.