Google Adds New Restriction On App Attribution; Layoffs In Tech

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Stalling The Install 

Google is changing its search-to-app install campaign measurement starting this month so that iOS installs driven by Google searches will no longer be reported by third-party attribution companies, Ronan Shields reports for Adweek. The change is a forerunner to Google’s eventual third-party cookie removal, since iOS app installs driven by Google searches were previously only reported for Chrome browser users. Performance marketers are ticked, since the change particularly impacts their KPIs. Google said the change will mean it serves more app ads to iOS devices, and it plans to move from attributing individual conversions to a “modeled” approach based on knowing overall app installs and data from search ads or the browser. Google doesn’t want to miss out on a lucrative consumer segment (iPhone owners) just because Apple’s and its own policies are moving away from one-to-one measurement. For competitors, particularly attribution vendors and direct response mobile marketers, it looks like Google’s walls are growing higher. More.

Tech Cutbacks

Layoffs have swept through tech and tech-adjacent companies, including many category leaders. Quora announced a round of layoffs and cost cutting on Thursday, as did the genetic testing and data company 23andMe. TripAdvisor is cutting hundreds of jobs, “underscoring the company’s need to reduce costs as competition from Google intensifies,” Bloomberg reports. Not all the decisions were attributed so clearly to big tech competition. But the wide range of companies in the recent trend does show how every corner of the tech world, not just the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook, is reckoning with similar challenges. “I think the tech world needs to own this [and] better communicate privacy standards to build trust,” 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki told CNBC. “I want to jump in and really own it.”

Patchwork Enforcement

Regulators in Berlin ruled that Facebook violated GDPR by not receiving informed consent from users before collecting their data. The ruling upheld a complaint from the Federation of German Consumer Organizations around Facebook allowing search engines to surface links to user profiles without their consent, and requiring users to share their name and profile picture for commercial purposes. The case not only demonstrates a lack of consistency in how GDPR is being implemented across Europe, but also sets a precedent for consumer advocacy groups to bring cases to court without a specific consumer complaint, The Wall Street Journal reports. Facebook argues that the complaint, which dates back to 2015, has already been addressed by its teams. More.

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