Background location data declined by 68 percent since iOS 13 rollout: Report

Foreground location data or the data collected when the app is open, dropped by 24 percent.

Background location data or “always-on” data has been an important source of data points for advertisers over the years. However, Apple and Google had ramped up privacy features in its devices recently that are slowing down location data collection. Both mobile operating systems had rolled out features to restrict the collection of background data through apps.

iOS 13.

Dark mode in iOS 13.

Coming from a report by Fast Company, marketing firm Location Sciences said that the background location data collected from users fell by 68 percent. This kind of data is shared with advertisers even when the app is closed. However, since the rollout of iOS 13, it allowed users to choose when they want apps to collect their data. It either let the app collect data only when the app is open, only once or always.

The findings came from an analysis between September and October 2019 for a UK-based app that gathered data from two billion background location events. Hence, this report doesn’t necessarily show a global or broader perspective of the decline in background location data.

The same feature is also available on Android now and according to the report, half of the users have chosen to share location data only when they were using the app.

With lower access to GPS data, it’s likely that advertisers and marketers will move to IP addresses for location tracking. The data will be collected via mobile or Wi-Fi networks.

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