Please join us for a
Lehigh Marketing Speaker Series Event


Friday, December 3, 2021

Presenter:  Michelle Andrews, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Topic:  App Tracking


Time:  10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location:  Via Zoom


A new privacy feature in the iOS mobile operating system now requires apps to request users’ permission to collect their data. To examine the impact of this policy change, we use device-level location data from more than 7 million iOS and Android devices. We focus on three questions: (1) does the policy change result in a reduction of data collected from devices, (2) among which users is the data reduction most prevalent, and (3) can data providers mitigate the data reduction. For a location data provider collecting data through multiple apps, we find the frequency of data collection from iOS devices is reduced following the policy change. This reduction is driven by devices becoming unobserved and by observed devices emitting fewer pings, suggesting some users uniformly deny tracking requests while others selectively deny them. The data reduction is more pronounced among users who visit privacy-sensitive locations, suggesting that individuals who may want to mask their behaviors take steps to do so. We find the distribution of locations at which devices are detected shifts after the policy change. We demonstrate the potential for data providers to address the data reduction by using unaffected individuals to infer the behavior of affected individuals.


Michelle Andrews’ research on digital marketing and field experiments has been published in a number of leading journals including Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing, Strategic Management Journal, and Harvard Business Review.

For more information and to view her CV, visit her website.

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