What to Expect From the iOS 14 Security Update Ad Limitations

Pay-per-click 7 min READ


April 8, 2021

There’s tons of chatter online about Apple’s new iOS security update, especially among digital marketing companies. With the update expected to have a big impact on how online marketers collect data, people are scrambling to cook up solutions.

Last January, Facebook released a preemptive post for all their partners who advertise on the app, saying that they should prepare for these changes. As of April 2021, TikTok also released its guidance overview on the impacts of this update for advertisers.


Industry commentator Matt Navarra shared the news about TikTok’s Business Help Center updates, warning advertisers of the adverse effects of Apple’s iOS 14 security update. With questions like “how do I block all ads?” cluttering the online space, there’s a need to outline the features of this iOS security update that concern advertisers and businesses.

Need to figure out what you can do about this iOS security update as an advertiser? Check out this guide for accurate information and actionable approaches regarding the iPhone security update for Facebook advertisers, mobile app marketers, and PPC management experts.

What can I expect from iOS 14?

This update has several new features for Apple users, the most relevant to digital marketers being capabilities that allow users to prohibit all apps on the Apple Store from collecting and sharing their data unless the user opts into it. This update comes in accordance with Apple’s new AppTrackingTransparency framework and is available on all Apple devices that have upgraded to iOS 14.

Here’s a quick chart that demonstrates how security features will change in the update:

  Before After

Automatic permissions to utilize user data

User data collection for tailored ads and timeline


Users will be prompted during download if they will allow this app to track their data.

What does this mean for you?

For the consumer
This update will entail a lot of decision-making issues for consumers. With this new security update, Apple will automatically prohibit apps from collecting and sharing their data, unless they opt into it before downloading from the store. This data includes, but is not limited to:

  • Contact information
  • User and device ID
  • Past purchases
  • Search history
  • User contents

For the marketers

For you, this then begs the question: “What are the problems with the latest iPhone update for digital marketers in 2021?” 

This update will limit the predictability of your consumers’ behavior who are already engaging with your brand on various digital touchpoints, heading towards a trend of non-linear customer journeys. Specifically, the update will affect how you:
  • Efficiently deliver your ads to audiences based on their engagement with your products and services;
  • Accurately measure and track conversions from online customers; and
  • Effectively allocate budgets for your future ads based on cost per action over time.

Our take as a leading PPC agency in the Philippines on this iOS 14 security update lies heavily on its implementation vis-a-vis conversion tracking. Specifically, the FB SDK for iOS 14 now has set limitations that can hamper the data to effectively optimize your FB ads. 

Long story short, the update will highly limit the amount of data e-commerce practitioners can derive insights from. In effect, companies will need to restructure their campaigns, to create separate iOS 14 app install campaigns due to reporting limitations from Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.

What can you do about it?

Despite the many limitations that come with this update, all is not lost for the disadvantaged digital marketer. Though your clients may have the option to disable, block or turn off targeted ads on iPhone apps now, there are still countless other ways to market your content to audiences online

You as a Facebook advertiser, mobile app marketer, or PPC advertiser just need to reconcentrate your efforts on your other marketing channels.

If you’re curious about the best practices for better engagement in light of this, then check out these iPhone security update tips for every affected digital marketer.

For TikTok advertisers

If you’re trend-savvy advertiser marketing for a brand that’s on TikTok, you should stay up-to-date with the app’s new policies. Here are some of the initial changes to their advertising guidelines from their Business Help Center:

  • Improved privacy, safety, and security controls on the app experience;
  • Displays Apple’s tracking permission prompt to users who updated to iOS 14.

According to the platform’s help center, you can prepare for Apple’s upcoming security changes by doing the following:

  1. Review and update your Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) settings. TikTok will support your ad tracking and optimization for iOS 14 campaigns only if you’ve updated to Apple’s SKAN-supported network.
  2. Develop dedicated iOS 14 campaigns. This is important because once the security update rolls out, your current iOS campaigns drop traffic from iOS 14. However, do take note that you will be limited to 11 campaigns per ad group.
  3. In relation to that, TikTok also recommends consolidating your accounts and campaigns. This helps you fully and strategically maximize ad targeting and reach, once the update rolls out.

Simply put, stay up-to-date with the Apple-supported version of the MMP SDK so you can track your ads on TikTok and modify your campaigns for iOS 14.

For the Facebook advertisers

If you’re managing your company’s Facebook ads, you’ll need to watch out for the following changes to Facebook advertising policies:

  • Updated Apple users will receive a prompt when social media apps like Facebook want to track them across apps or websites owned by your company for advertising.
  • Users can also freely get information on the privacy practices of social media apps on the Apple store, prior to update or download.

To manage these changes, you can apply these respective strategies for your company’s Apple iOS 14 users:

  1. Be transparent with users on your company’s social media pages about your use of their data. Check out the Apple App Store Review Guidelines: 5.1.1 (iv) for the full list of guidelines, to ensure your company respects users’ privacy.
  2. Make your company’s privacy policy publicly available on your social media or other digital touchpoints like your website. This is so that users can review your company’s use of their data.

If security truly is a concern for your company’s customers, redirect your customers’ focus to other advantages of your company. For example, you can turn this Facebook advertising hindrance into a positive publicity campaign. Highlight your company’s transparency efforts on social media to build genuine trust among your customers.

Prior to strategy implementation, make sure to conduct the following actions for your marketing efforts:

  • Update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1 on your app; and
  • Verify your domain and identify preferred web conversion events on your company’s website.

After the implementation, you should then restructure your account to accommodate Apple’s security update. Overall, you need to work with the update and not against it, if you want to optimize your Facebook advertising.

For Mobile App Marketers

For mobile app marketers out there advertising on Facebook and other apps, you’ll need to watch out for these changes and opportunities in Apple’s iOS 14:

  • With regard to the security update, app developers marketing on Facebook and other apps must self-report their own privacy practices, including data collected by the developer, in a simple, readable format.
  • As for developers making their apps available on iOS 14, you can create App Clips for your app, which quickly demonstrate the value of your app for all possible customers.

To manage these updates and opportunities as a mobile app marketer, you can apply the following strategies for your company’s Apple iOS 14 users:

  1. Work with this new limitation by being clear and transparent with your privacy practices. Answer frequently asked questions like “How does the iPhone advertise this app?” as graciously as possible, to build trust among your mobile app users.
  2. Make the most out of the App Clips update to market your product. Use this opportunity to quickly demonstrate the usefulness of your app, and convince users to download your app within the duration of the App Clip itself.

With App Clips, mobile app marketers can seamlessly transition future customers from interest to immediate download or purchase. You just need to work with the limitations Apple has set, and make use of the helpful features they’ve added to iOS 14.

For PPC Advertisers

If you’re a PPC advertiser who needs user data to track conversions and pay-per-click advertisements, watch out for these new challenges and opportunities for your advertising strategies on iOS 14:

  • A user can decline permission to track data in an application that hosts PPC advertisements on iOS 14. Do note that this limitation only applies to users on iOS 14 devices – if the same user provides permission for data tracking on a separate device, like an Android device or a computer, this limitation does not apply.
  • In Spring 2021, Apple will support PPC advertisers through Private Click Measurement for iOS 14 devices. PPC advertisers will be able to measure their ad’s effectiveness within the Apple update itself while following Apple user privacy protocols.

Given these challenges and opportunities, see if you can still apply these advertising strategies for your company’s users as well:

  1. Widen your horizons and explore other forms of PPC advertising that are outside the bounds of iOS 14. Explore paid search and paid social for your business, so that iOS 14 users can still access your ads on other devices and platforms.
  2. Keep an eye out for the added support from Apple’s Private Click Measurement. This future feature will benefit you greatly as a PPC advertiser who intends to target users on Apple iOS 14.

As a PPC advertiser, you still have other opportunities to advertise, even given this update’s limitations. Plus, you just need to be patient and wait for Apple’s new Private Click Measurement system to improve your PPC advertising.

Key Takeaways

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Apple’s iOS security update. Your customer’s concerns and values change, so naturally, you have to change your advertising strategies, too. Make sure to remember these important discussion points when planning your next steps for advertising on iOS 14:

  1. Your customers value privacy now more than ever. Address their concerns by being transparent about your data collection policies, to build genuine trust among your customers.
  2. Apple is working to improve its updates. With additions like App Clips and Private Click Measurement underway, this company can still support your digital marketing efforts on their platforms.
  3. Be open to growth when it comes to digital marketing. You can easily pursue other ways to market your business to online customers that aren’t within the bounds of Apple iOS 14.

With every limitation comes new opportunities for growth. Don’t let this update get in the way of your company’s success this year. 

Still, need help with planning out your digital marketing campaign on Facebook? Don’t forget to message us on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn for more helpful advice.