Since its release in September, Apple’s privacy update to their email software, known as Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), has posed a challenge for accurate data collection.
Introduced to protect users’ information from being accessed, Apple has declared MPP as the “latest innovations in [their] legacy of privacy leadership”.
The software is designed to block the pixels which records when users open emails.
They introduced MPP along with its App Tracking Transparency software, as the tech giant continues its strategy of positioning itself as a privacy-driven company.
The update began rolling out mid-September of 2021, first as an update with the iOS15 release.
It is now available across all new operating software across Apple’s range of products, which includes iOS15, iPad0S 15, macOS Monterey and watch OS8.
Which means that if a user is using Apple mail on their iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or Apple Watch, they can choose to activate the privacy setting.
MPP is a simple opt-in users can choose when opening the Apple Mail app, which can be configured to most email accounts.
It has the potential to affect a large majority of customers, as, according to recent data published by email marketing software Litmus, Apple Mail pulls in more than 48 per cent of email client market share.
When a user opts-in, Apple doesn’t deliver emails directly to users. Instead, the emails are sent through an Apple-managed proxy server, which preloads every email.
Pixels, which are attached to emails, include a URL which tells the tracking system if an email has been opened.
On opened email events labeled 'Apple Privacy Open' which, when used, will allow you to segment customers based on whether or not your opens came from MPP.
The thinking behind this system is simple: Only opened emails (ones that users manually interact with) will download the images and trigger this tracking process.
The number of downloads of that tracking pixel, then, represents the number of users who opened the email and the number of times they read it.
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