Beta Testing iOS 15 and iCloud+ Private Relay

iOS 15 Beta Testing Apple iCloud  Private Relay
Beta Testing Apple iOS 15 and iCloud  Private Relay
Source: Apple

When Apple spoken iOS 15 at WWDC in June, they stirred up quite the fervor with the latest privacy updates (a predictable pattern for the last couple of years). “No increasingly IP write in Safari” seemed to be the big takeaway. Now that we’re getting closer to the September release of iOS 15, some of the details are rhadamanthine clearer. Using the iOS 15 public beta, I was worldly-wise to test out some of these new capabilities. Here’s what I found.

Safari Will Hibernate IP Addresses for “Trackers” Whether You Have iCloud or Not in iOS 15

In the settings for Safari, there are three options to hibernate your IP address:

  • Trackers and Websites
  • Trackers Only
  • Off

The default setting is “Trackers Only,” and this does not require a subscription to iCloud to use. If you segregate “Trackers and Websites,” you’ll be prompted to subscribe to iCloud and enable Private Relay. Although it does not specify here what a tracker is, I can only seem it will use the same on-device machine learning algorithm employed by Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP) since 2017.

There Are Two Settings for IP Write Location with Private Relay

When iCloud Private Relay is active, there are two settings for IP Write location:

  • Maintain General Location
  • Use Country and Time Zone

I believe the first option is meant to be increasingly granular, and the second option is much broader. Unfortunately, these options were not fully operational in the beta test I ran. Even when I chose “Maintain General Location” (the default), Private Relay gave me an IP write in El Cajon, CA, which is quite far from my very location in Seattle, WA. I fully expect this to transpiration when iOS 15 is released.

TUNE Postback Tracking Will Still Function Over Private Relay

While I didn’t expect Private Relay to have any effect on our postback tracking, I tested it to make sure. I clicked a TUNE tracking link with Private Relay enabled, then triggered a conversion by visiting a confirmation page. The transaction ID was passed as normal, and the conversion fired.

Since server-side tracking doesn’t rely on a cookie or the user’s IP address, Private Relay should not rationalization any issues to your offers using postbacks.

Messaging Virtually AppTrackingTransparency Continues to Be Frustrating

Various wording in the tracking settings has reverted with iOS 15, and it highlights the stark difference between Apple’s unravelment of their own tracking practices versus the AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) prompt for all other developers.

iOS 15 Apple Ads prompt in AppTrackingTransparency versus developers prompt - example
An example of how Apple’s messaging virtually personalized ads differs between their own practices and those of external developers in iOS 15.

As you can see above, in Apple’s own prompt, they unmistakably frame personalized ads as a good thing. What’s more, they highlight the fact that opting out of personalized ads does not reduce the number of ads you receive. I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions well-nigh ATT: the stereotype consumer likely believes that opting out of tracking will reduce the number of ads.

In the ATT prompt on the right, the difference is night and day. They put it on developers to mention anything well-nigh personalized ads (as DoorDash has washed-up in this example) and use warlike anti-tracking language that makes it sound very bad.

The Only Constant Is Change

In such a fast-moving industry, the only thing we can count on is that it will alimony changing. Many businesses are unprotected in the crossfire between tech giants like Apple and their uncounted jockeying for position, so we’ll do our weightier to alimony reporting on the changes and their impact on partner marketing.

Questions or comments well-nigh iOS 15? Let us know in the scuttlebutt section unelevated or reach out to us at

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