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Google removes user data collection applications; Big Tech will lose billions due to Apple’s privacy changes

In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire summarizes key industry updates in media, marketing and trade from around the world. In this edition: Google removes apps that harvest user data from its Play Store; Apple’s Privacy Changes Will Cost Big Tech Billions; Time Out Group focuses its London print magazine; and Google is suspending ads on content about the war in Ukraine.

Google removes apps that secretly collect user data

Google has removed more than a dozen apps from its Play Store after it was found to contain code that secretly harvested information from users.

The affected apps, which include Muslim prayer apps, a weather app, and a QR code scanner, contained a software development kit (SDK) who has sent sensitive information to a third party. Data, including people’s locations, email addresses, phone numbers, and their phone’s unique IMEI identification number, was sent to Measurement Systems, without the consent of app users. Although based in Panama, Measurement Systems can be traced back to a Virginia-based company, Vostrom Holdings.

Some of the affected apps have been downloaded over 10 million times.

Speaking to the BBCa Google spokesperson commented, “All apps on Google Play must follow our policies, regardless of developer,” adding, “When we determine an app violates these policies, we take appropriate action.”

The tech giant previously warned developers of the need to ensure users are clear about what information they share with apps. In December last year, Google said apps that violate its data policy could be banned from the Play Store. The statement followed revelations that at least two app partners of UK-based company Huq, which collects location data, failed to search for the correct user permissions.

Apps banned from the Google Play Store for prohibited collection of user data are eligible to seek reinstatement if the offending code is removed, reports the BBC.

Apple’s privacy changes are expected to wipe out US$16 billion from big tech companies

New analysis of Apple’s major privacy update says the changes could wipe out US$16bn (£12.2bn) from big tech companies Meta, YouTube, Twitter and Snap in just 2022.

The App Tracking Transparency update, which was introduced in April 2021, requires app developers to ask users for permission before tracking them on other websites and apps using the app ID. ‘Apple for advertisers. As users increasingly choose to block tracking, advertisers lose access to a valuable way to measure their ads, forcing them to re-evaluate their marketing strategies.

Facebook’s parent company Meta will be hit hardest by the impact of Apple’s update, with the social media giant set to lose $12.8 billion, according to analysis by data management firm Lotame. (£9.8bn) on its 2022 revenue.

Meta had forecast that Apple’s privacy change would take a toll on its revenue, predicting a loss of US$10bn in 2022 (£7.6bn). The company has, like other tech platforms, developed new privacy-focused measures to mitigate the impact of Apple’s update, but Meta has yet to confirm a full update. Politics.

Meanwhile, Snap, owner of Snapchat, is set to lose US$546m (£419m) in 2022, with microblogging site Twitter set to take a similar hit, with a projected loss of US$323m (247m). £.9 million). Alphabet-owned YouTube is expected to feel a ‘modest impact’ from Apple’s update, with an expected impact of $2.2bn (£1.6bn), or 6.5% of its annual turnover.

A similar analysis by Lotame in October estimated that Meta, Twitter, YouTube and Snap lost revenue to the tune of US$9.85bn (£7.5bn) in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 due to privacy changes from Apple, according to The Financial Times.

Time Out Group ends publication in London to go digital

Time Out Group has confirmed that its London print magazine will end publication in June 2022, with the company prioritizing growing its digital presence.

Time OrIt was first published in London in 1968 and was renowned for its liberal outlook and forward-thinking approach to journalism. The magazine became a free, fully advertising-supported title in the capital in 2012, both to accommodate changing reader habits and to keep pace with other free publications, such as Stylist and Metro.

This shift to digital is not the first for Time Out Group, which has turned to the web, social media and video to maintain its presence during the coronavirus pandemic. As rides were suspended and people stayed indoors, Free time renamed itself Arriving timeoffering content to help people be entertained from the comfort of their homes.

The company noted that the majority of its growth continued to come from its digital channels, with Time Out Group’s appointed chief content officer for North America and the UK, Dave Calhoun, commenting that the lockdowns had “accelerated the transformation” from print to digital only. .

Although its London print edition is ending, Free time will continue to print in Lisbon, Barcelona and Madrid, where its magazines are produced on a monthly or quarterly basis. The publication retains a global audience of 76.2 million people and reaches 59 countries through various media channels, including digital, social, video and print.

Google suspends ads on Ukraine war content

Tech giant Google has suspended advertising on some content about the war in Ukraine, in a bid to silence propagandists and profiteers of fake news.

In an email to publishers on Wednesday (April 13), Google said it would “suspend monetization of content that exploits, rejects, or condones war.” This extension of the company’s existing policy on content that denies the existence of tragic events or incites violence applies to apps, websites and YouTube channels.

In response to the announcement, Russia banned Google News in the country.

Early responses from publishers to Google’s decision have been cautious, with warnings that the company must act to protect legitimate publishers from opaque keyword blocks or automated policies.

Richard Reeves, chief executive of the Association of Online Publishers, commented: “It is heartening to see restrictions put in place with the aim of reducing propaganda in Russia and stopping the spread of false information. But we also need to ensure that during this time, ethical publishers, who provide much-needed truthful information, are not unwittingly impacted by the use of vague keyword blocking or increased restrictions.

Owen Meredith, chief executive of the News Media Association, commented: “Measures designed to target bad actors seeking to spread wartime misinformation are laudable, but should not put editorial control in the hands of Google’s algorithms. Consequently.

Talk to Press newspaper, a Google spokesperson confirmed “we are taking additional steps to clarify and, in some cases, expand our monetization guidelines as they relate to the war in Ukraine.” The spokesperson also indicated that wider media coverage of the war would not be affected.

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