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Widening inequality on the digital frontier – TechCrunch

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Privacy is emotional — we often value privacy when we feel vulnerable or powerless when confronted with creepy data practices. But in the court’s eyes, emotions don’t always constitute harm or a reason for structural change in how privacy is legally codified.

It might take a material perspective on widening privacy disparities — and their implication in broader social inequality — to catalyze the privacy improvements the U.S. desperately needs.

Apple’s leaders announced their plans for the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) update in 2020. In short, iOS users can refuse an app’s ability to track their activity on other apps and websites. The ATT update has led to sweeping three-quarters of iOS users opting out of cross-app tracking.

With fewer data available to advertisers looking to develop individual profiles for targeted advertising, targeted ads for iOS users look less effective and appealing to ad agencies. As a result, new findings show that advertisers spend one-third less on advertising spending on iOS devices.

They are redirecting that capital into advertising on Android systems, which account for just over 42.06% of the mobile O.S. market share, compared to iOS at 57.62%.

Beyond a vague sense of creepiness, privacy disparities increasingly pose risks of material harm: emotional, reputational, economic, and otherwise. As many tech companies say, privacy belongs to all of us, so why does it cost so much? Whenever one user base gears up with privacy protections, companies redirect their data practices along the path of least resistance toward the populations with fewer resources, legal or technical, to control their data.

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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