As the impending end of cookies continues to stoke fear in the heart of every marketer, ad companies are scrambling for alternative methods of consumer targeting. P&G’s latest move in this direction involves a partnership with a Chinese-state-sponsored ad organization to gather personal identifier information. According to Marketing Dive’s brief on a Wall Street Journal report:
Procter & Gamble is taking part in a test of a method in China to capture iPhone data for ad targeting, a possible workaround to Apple’s new privacy tools, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The consumer packaged goods giant is among a group of Chinese trade associations and technology companies that are working with the China Advertising Association, which is backed by the government, on a device fingerprinting technology called CAID. It uses an algorithm to gather iPhone data through apps and track online consumers to improve ad targeting, per the Journal.
How does CAID work?
It’s particularly concerning that CAID can track users even if they have opted out of sharing device identifiers. According to Marketing Dive:
CAID gathers data including device startup time, model, time zone, country, language and IP address — which aren’t considered PII in China — to create a device identifier for tracking, the Journal reported. The technology can be used to follow the online activity of consumers even if they have opted out of sharing their device identifiers with apps and websites.
Apple, whose app rules specifically prohibit device fingerprinting, intends to release an update that would notify users when an app uses device identifiers. It has given app developers 14 days to stop using device fingerprinting technology like CAID; those in violation will be removed from the App Store.