VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus

Apple's privacy changes: What do they mean for your data?

Astrud Burgess - ANZ GM of Data and Marketing

Apple recently announced they are making a main privacy feature more prominent – users will now be asked, app-by-app, whether or not to share their browsing data – but what will this mean for users that say no? Should you allow apps to use your browsing data, or not? And what are they using it for?


ANZ NZ’s Head of Data and Marketing Astrud Burgess gives her take on why targeted advertisement can actually be a good thing.


Anyone walking around in the digital world (that is, doing things on the internet) is in a place where just about every activity can be logged, shared, and sometimes even sold. This includes activity on smartphone apps – and most of the time, it happens without explicitly asking permission.


Each iPhone has a kind of ‘license plate’ called an Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) - a string of characters that iPhone apps use to track certain activity without necessarily knowing a user’s name. Companies can use this IDFA data to target consumers with more personalised advertising.


The recent change by Apple (as of iOS 14.5) means app developers are now required to specifically ask a user’s permission before using that IDFA data. You could always choose what you want to share with apps, but Apple is now making it more prominent.


Users will start seeing prompts from apps, like Facebook, saying “Allow Facebook to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” The user can then choose “ask app not to track” or “allow”. So what happens if you allow it?


Asking permission before using someone’s data is a really good thing - but I also think it’s important for people to understand what that data is used for before they limit access to it.


The IDFA data will be used on a case-by-case basis – different apps and companies use it for different purposes – but many businesses will be using it for targeted advertisements, as we do at ANZ.


So what’s targeted advertising, you say? Here’s a personal example I’m sure will sound like a familiar experience.


I’ve recently been looking for accommodation in the South Island for a holiday, and after doing that for an evening, digital advertisers have picked up on that, and I’m now seeing ads for beautiful places to stay.


I think this is good - instead of boring, irrelevant ads, I’m getting served up options I’d have never considered, or even heard of – and the ads are actually interesting to me.


Of course, nothing is ever perfect - I bought a robot vacuum six months ago and I still seem to be a key target for robot advertising – one is enough!


ANZ also uses that Apple IDFA data in conjunction with our own information to help figure out which ads you don’t care about.


Beyond advertising products, the data also helps us understand the best way to connect with our customers. For example, we know a lot of our customers, especially younger people, are more likely to interact with an ad on social media than an email from their bank - so we take note of a customer’s preferred channels and prioritise them.


That said, there’s some customer data that is off-limits for us - ANZ doesn’t use transactional data for targeted advertising – the data on things they buy or savings transactions they make.


We also have strict protocols inside the bank and restrictions around who can access accounts and the transaction data for a customer.



Trust is huge for a bank and we don’t ever want to compromise that, so we go through a thorough process of considering not only what’s required by law - but also what’s reasonable, from a customer point of view, before using anyone’s data.



People that choose to turn off those IDFA permissions may think they’ll see less advertising – that is not necessarily true.


In our case, we’ll still advertise, and people will still see them – but the ads might not interest them as much. We’ll lose that ability to ‘switch off’ ads that are not relevant.


There’s also an argument that allowing apps and companies to use your data helps to keep their services free, in some cases.


I love Facebook, because I love seeing peoples’ babies and kids grow up, and I also love Instagram - sometimes I even dip into TikTok.


I wouldn’t want to pay for them like I pay for Netflix, or news websites, so I’m happy for them to use a bit of my browsing data in return.


* The ANZ goMoney app does not make use of IDFA data so it won’t send you a prompt asking to track your activity.



A digital feast: Techweek 21 kicks off this month

ANZ New Zealand is once again throwing its support behind Techweek this year, with a host of engaging and enlightening events already confirmed.

Smart new billing service wins top award

An innovative and industry-leading bill payment service - which gives ANZ customers greater visibility and control of what they need to pay, and when - has won a top prize at the 2021 INFINZ awards.

Have you heard the word? ANZ customers embrace Voice ID

The use of voice identification by ANZ customers has leapt by 60% in the past year; reflecting an acceleration in adoption of the security technology.