We’ve all heard about the release on Apple’s iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency update for consumers and the aftermath for advertisers that follows. If you haven’t, check it out here. Now it seems Apple would like to go one step further, announcing an additional privacy feature called ‘Hide My Email’.

What is ‘Hide my Email’?

In summary, Apple’s privacy feature provides users a fake email address in place of a user’s actual email address when signing up for mailing lists or filling in contact forms. By not disclosing their real address, users will be afforded a higher level of confidentiality with less personally identifiable information communicated as they hit submit. The ‘fake’ email address generated by Apple directly forwards any mail (such as newsletters) to the user’s real email address. This feature is believed to apply to only a narrow slice of the mobile consumer base; Apple audiences who have the latest iOS, are logged in to iCloud and use the native Apple Mail app as their email service. Although the ramifications are unknown, it may be quite paramount with 40% of emails on Apple relying on the native Apple Mail app.

What is the effect?

  • Identity: Just when we were getting over the loss of cookies, and moving to a world of identity resolution using first party data, this change by Apple could very easily break that move forward as an industry, as the common link of email is no longer a constant connector of identity.

 

  • Newsletter analytics: For newsletter senders, Hide my Email will have adverse tracking effects as the change will also remove the tracking pixel attached to emails. The pixel typically allows you as a brand to see if your prospects or customers have opened your emails. As a result, insights into headlines and open rates will decrease.

 

  • CRM: With prospects and customers signing up for your newsletters or any other email collection points using a mock email address, Hide My Email may cause havoc for CRM systems that stitches these behaviours and touchpoints together using email as a connection.

 

  • Duplicate leads or records: with Apple generating a random fake address every time someone submits their email, it means loopholes can appear in systems whereby free trials or offers are given. As users can sign up multiple times under their real email address (hidden by Apple and not visible to you), users can take advantage many times undetected.

 

It is yet to be determined whether this new feature will have detrimental impacts on advertisers and tech vendors. However, the above issues illustrate that the era of relying on just one form of consumer data (CRM) is gone, with the industry pivoting towards the need for multi consumer data touchpoints. Reach out to your ADMATICian to learn more!