Twitter CFO says Apple is ‘leveling the playing field’ with iOS 14 privacy changes

iOS 14 introduced several privacy changes that are now becoming mandatory for developers, which has resulted in some large companies being unhappy with Apple. However, Twitter CFO Ned Segal said that he’s not worried about these changes, as he believes that this could even have a positive impact on smaller companies.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Wednesday (via CNBC), Segal said that Twitter is feeling confident about the privacy changes in iOS 14, which includes a new option that will not let apps track users unless they manually opt in.

According to Segal, much of the data collected by Twitter is not tied to a device ID, so he believes the company will not be affected by the new privacy options in iOS 14. “We feel really good about our ability to leverage that combination,” he said.

More than this, Segal sees this as an opportunity for Twitter and other smaller players to fairly compete with big companies like Facebook — although he didn’t mention Mark Zuckerberg’s platform. Twitter’s CFO argues that these changes implemented by Apple in iOS 14 are “leveling the playing field,” which should positively impact the industry in his opinion:

IDFA in a way is going to level the playing field. We’re in an industry where many were much better than Twitter historically at leveraging all of the data that was available to them, from the device ID to what people were doing on other websites. When we all have the same set of new challenges that we have to face, leveling the playing field will be a really interesting impact on the broader industry.

Segal also said that Twitter doesn’t want to be “in a rush-around IDFA,” suggesting that the company will wait and see what happens before asking users to enable the tracking option on iOS. Despite Segal’s comments, Twitter confirmed last month that the company expects a “modest impact” on its revenue this year due to the iOS 14 privacy changes.

The new Tracking Transparency App will be available to all users starting with iOS 14.5, which is currently available to developers and users registered in the Apple Beta Software Program.

App Tracking Transparency is a new feature that requires apps to request permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites. Users will also be able to see which apps have requested permission to track them in the iOS Settings app.

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