Upcoming Apple iOS14.5 Privacy Changes and What it Means for Dealers. (Hint: Lots)

By Renold Liu


  • Upcoming Apple iOS 14.5 will ask users to consent to be tracked on all apps – Facebook Included
  • This may affect a Dealer’s ability to properly target people for effective advertising
  • Facebook is supplementing tracking this with a new “Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement” protocol. 
  • In order to take advantage of this new tracking, Dealers will need to take some steps or risk not effectively targeting the correct shoppers with iOS 14.5+ devices
  • Leadbox Account Reps will be contacting Leadbox customers to assist with these steps.

When tech giants play nice, everything is nice and calm. Ads are run, dealers get quality shoppers visiting their site. It’s the “Sound of Music.” 

However, when tech giants decide to make significant moves that impact other tech giants – well… it’s like the plot of the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie – things get a little rough. (You can decide which one is Apple and which one is Facebook).

In January of 2021, Apple had made an announcement about new features regarding app and data sharing policies starting in the upcoming iOS 14.5.

What’s the big deal with iOS 14.5?

Long story short, Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency “will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies.” 

This includes Facebook’s app.

This means that Facebook users on devices with the upcoming iOS 14.5 (iPhone or iPads) will need to explicitly agree to be tracked by Facebook. 

If the user gives permission to be tracked, then Facebook will be able to use that users’ data to target them for advertising.

If the user does NOT give permission, then Facebook will NOT be able to see website data from that user and won’t be able to target them as effectively for advertising.

For Dealers, this will mean that some of your Facebook ads will not be as targeted as it once was for users on iOS 14.5.

Godzilla lands the first blow (I guess I’ve chosen that Apple is Godzilla).

WHAT?! When is this happening?!

Apple is pretty tight-lipped about when the actual release date, but as of right now, the beta version is already out, so the update is fairly imminent.

Many Mac Expert sites expect it to be out Early to Mid April 2021.

Is Facebook Doing anything about this?!

Short answer, Yes.

As you can imagine, Facebook’s targeting engine will be fairly impacted when a percentage of iOS users decide to not provide permissions be tracked. 

In response to this, Facebook will be relying less on direct app data and more on their proprietary “Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement” protocol. This protocol is designed essentially to help supplement the missing app data and to continue aiding the proper targeting of ads. 

Kong counters with a mighty fist.

However, some configuration changes will need to be made for this to work with Dealers’ ads.

What do I need to do!?

There are many small nuances, but the main items are:

  1. Set up your own Business Manager Account
    It has always been best practice for Dealers to create their own Business Manager account, however, many dealers will have relied on their Advertising Partners to promote their vehicles using the Partners Business Managers’ account (Leadbox included) as it requires less set up time.

    However, at this point, Dealers are now required to create their own Business Manager accounts to fulfill the requirements needed to take advantage of the Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement protocol. 
  2. Verify your Website’s domain.
    Beyond a requirement to use the Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement protocol, Facebook also states that verifying your website’s domain will “help avoid any future” disruption of your website campaigns.” It is critical that your domain is verified using your Facebook Business Manager account.
  3. Set up your own Facebook Pixel.
    It is highly recommended that all companies have their own Facebook Pixel to ensure data continuity across all Facebook marketing endeavours. Doing so will also simplify taking advantage of Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement protocol.
  4. Select a maximum of 8 conversion events for campaign optimization.
    Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement protocol is limited to 8 conversion events. Luckily, dealers are typically below that number.

    Typically dealers will optimize for the big 4: Click to call, form submissions, VDP View & SRP view. This provides 4 additional conversion types to be configured. 

The good news for Leadbox Customers is that Leadbox Account reps have already started the process of transiting Dealers to take advantage of “Facebook Aggregated Event Measurement” protocol. 

That being said, minimal Dealer participation IS required to create a Business Manager Account. The rest you can leave to Leadbox.

I Need to Sit Down

Don’t we all, friend. Don’t we all.

While this may seem like a lot of trouble for dealerships, these new privacy policies for iOS are important. Many apps are collecting data from your devices that you may not even be aware of and these privacy features from Apple are a good way to at least provide visibility into them. 

If you own an Apple device, you may be surprised which apps are tracking you beyond Facebook.

Some additional items

  • Google devices are not affected by this change. This is strictly for devices on iOS 14.5 and up.
  • ALL apps on iOS14.5 are affected by this. Not just Facebook. For example, the Google Maps app will also require consent to track users. 
  • Currently, Facebook does not explain why Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement protocol limits to 8 conversion events. Perhaps there will be an increase in the future.


Digital Advertising