What Apple’s privacy strategy means for eCommerce

Apple is shaking things up again, with product launches aiming to transform how we get our news, watch tv, and spend money. What you may have missed, behind the curtain of Apple’s flashy announcements, are subtle privacy protections that could impact how we shop online.

When the Apple Card becomes available this Summer, it will tout a sleek, numberless design that relies on a hidden device number and dynamic codes to authorize purchases. No 16-digit account number. No CVV. No expiration date. No smeared signature on the back. Just secret codes unlocked with your Touch ID fingerprint identification or Face ID facial recognition. The new promotional page proclaims that “Even Apple doesn’t know what you bought. Or where. Or how much you paid.” This fresh approach to financial privacy is sure to make ripples among the major credit card providers.

A closer look at the new iOS 12.2 software update for iPhones reveals a more under the radar privacy initiative. The “Motion and Orientation Access” setting allows you to disable motion-based content that uses the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer data. While this data is typically used to provide immersive browsing experiences, it has also opened the door to potential privacy breaches like keystroke logging and footprint recognition. This restriction is now toggled on by default.

Shopping experience innovators like Warby Parker, and Apple themselves, have invested time & resources in order to leverage the motion and orientation data from your iPhone in real-time.



Apple’s iPhone experience site without (left) and with (right) motion & orientation data access



Warby Parker’s motion-based product pages


Apple is setting the pace for a future where privacy and innovation are not mutually exclusive. If history is any indicator, it’s safe to assume that other tech companies will eventually follow their lead. These privacy changes, along with incremental browser security updates are putting power back in consumers’ hands by forcing brands to continuously reevaluate how they use data to power rich user experiences.

For eCommerce marketers, it’s more important than ever to seize the limited data that is made available and use it to enhance the buying lifecycle. Whether it’s something as simple as figuring out the perfect time for a purchase reminder, solving the cold start problem, or predicting gender for new shoppers, marketers are going to be expected to deliver more relevant experiences with less information as the privacy revolution hits its stride.

Shoppers are more aware of the value of their data than ever before, so it’s unlikely these restrictions ease up any time soon. To keep up with these trends, the most nimble marketing teams are recruiting the computing power of a decision engine like ReSci’s Cortex. You may have millions of customer data points that you could be leveraging for a premier customer experience. Join some of the world’s top brands in uncovering how artificial intelligence solves real world marketing problems today!


About the author

Ali Maksoud spearheads Business Development here at ReSci. Ali is a huge Jacksonville Jaguars fan and has a love-hate relationship with Blake Bortles.

Like what you read? Share the knowledge!

ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands. Find out how we can help you connect with your customers.