Will Apple’s latest privacy updates affect the CallRail app?

Illustrated mobile phone displaying many apps on the screen

You might’ve heard about the latest privacy updates that Apple rolled out in iOS 14. This marks the latest move from Big Tech companies to grant users more control over their personal data after Google Chrome’s much-discussed privacy updates back in March 2020.

Essentially, Apple now requires all mobile apps to explicitly ask users for permission before tracking their activity across websites or apps on their phones. Before this update, apps would automatically track user activity — and if users wanted to put an end to this, they’d have to navigate deep within the iPhone’s settings to find the relevant toggle.

Now, users receive a pop-up message that reads: “Allow ‘App’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?”

Users can then either decide to allow or refuse this tracking.


Source: Apple Support

How will Apple’s data privacy changes impact the CallRail app?

In a nutshell, Apple’s data privacy changes won’t impact the CallRail app, which uses first-party cookies and not third-party cookies.

Here’s an example: You scroll through Instagram, put down your phone, hop on your laptop, and are suddenly served a ton of ads for the exact same products you were just looking at on Instagram. Why?

That’s because of third-party cookies.

Third-party cookies are responsible for tracking digital activity across websites and apps.

However, first-party cookies only track what users do on websites where that specific snippet is installed. They don’t follow users after they click off the site or app — they make a note of what they did while they were on it, and they will continue tracking the user’s online behavior if they ever return to that specific site/app. This data is not shared or broadcast with anybody else.

Since Apple’s latest privacy updates are designed to prevent third-party cookies from tracking users across sites and apps, first-party cookies don’t really come into the mix.

Business as usual (for the most part)

There’s a small caveat here. While the CallRail app will largely be unaffected by Apple’s data privacy update, it’s worth noting that as part of the iOS 14 in-app tracking changes from Apple, Google has stopped issuing GCLIDs for ad clicks in Safari and Google apps. Google will instead issue one or two different click IDs. These IDs now represent an aggregated group of users versus an individual click.

What does this mean for your business?

We won’t be able to post conversions for these clicks — but we’ll still be able to attribute them properly and swap trackers configured for Google Ads/Paid for those parameters as well. You’ll no longer see individual clicks in your analytics dashboard; instead, one of two click IDs now represents an aggregated group of users. This only applies to visitors who are clicking on Google Ads in Safari or Google apps via their iPhones and have enabled Apple's new privacy features. For more information, check out our Google Ads Integration Support page.

We've already made all necessary changes, meaning you can easily track conversions and calls from Google Ads within the app as usual.

Our Customer Support team is available Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm EST for any further questions.