Blake Dowling: For email privacy, Apple changes the game again
Image via AP.

It’s about time they (someone) did this.

The legacy of Apple is one of America’s great stories. The book by Walter Isaacson about Steve Jobs is mandatory reading, in my opinion.

The movie about Jobs was not quite as good, or maybe it was because I was sick on a boat in Estonia when I watched it; or because I watched the Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse before it (shockingly funny film).

All they had on the boat was Fanta and Heineken too, which was odd.

Sorry, shiny object put away, back to the story.

While I am not an Apple disciple nor a hater (just an iPad and iPhone fan), I loved every page of the book.

Did you know Steve worked at Atari back in the day?

Night shift only as he annoyed the other staff, said the boss at Atari. It is the amazing story of Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak creating a tech empire. I had the chance to meet Wozniak when he rolled through Tallahassee for an event a few years ago.

I made buttons that said Woz up too. Because, why not?

Steve Wozniak and I assume the nice-to-meet-you-but-I-don’t-know-you pose.

While you moan at the pun, he did not, he was very gracious, kind and we talked about his Segway polo team for a bit. It was a cool moment.

When I was a kid in the 80s, the hum of the Apple 2 E was a special sound. Cranking up games like Ultima, Old Ironsides, Magic versus Bird still seem like it was yesterday.

I did not have one in Alabama, but my cousins did in Houston (where I summered back then), and they were gamers way, way back in the day.

My first Apple device came a few years later, in the 90s, the Power Book 500 with a printer. It was the coolest, so light, too. It weighed only 10 pounds. HA.

Many papers were written the night before they were due during the midnight to dawn shift in Gainesville those days.

Fast forward to the day in Atlanta; as a young professional, I get my first iPod. Then, a few years later, the first iPhone (the 3GS); was a game-changer.

My phone before it, I think, was a Treo. If you went on the web, you could see, like, half a website.

This was 2009, just a couple of years after the legendary intro of the iPhone at MacWorld.

While I would not wait in line for a new Apple product for 10 minutes (much less overnight), I get the fanatism; this speech still makes me smile.

From a dollar a share in 2005 to $135 these days. Amazing company and a massive part of our world, as we all know.

Woz up editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance Andy Serwer with skinny me.

The big moves — the launch of the iPod, iPad — is the stuff of Apple legend.

How about what Apple is up to now? They are changing the game once again but in a new way. The launch of mail privacy protection can stop advertisers from seeing your email address, knowing your location, hide your IP address, and stop the ability to tell if someone opened or clicked on an email you sent them.

For the user, you might be thinking, pretty cool, as you should as we have spent the last couple of decades throwing our info online; it’s time to get it back, block it, stop it, etc. For example, I look up a new bowling glove on the internet and I get emails for bowling gloves, ads for bowling gloves 24/7.

It’s about time they (someone) did this.

But what if you are on the other side of the fence? What if you run an association or a political campaign and you use marketing tools like Constant Contact or one of the many mailing tools out there to gauge how your messages are received and study those analytics.

Perhaps you review them day and night to make sure you are engaging with your audience, constituents, members and so on, with a finely tuned message.

Well, if your target is an apple mail user, iPad, iPhone, etc., those days are now over if these new functions work as planned.

If you are an Apple user, when you upgrade to iOS 15, it will give you a prompt to protect mail activity. If you click it, you will have the features mentioned above or choose to continue as you always have. It’s an optional thing, which is cool.

Or if you skipped it the first time and you want to go back and change your mind, go to phone settings > mail > mail privacy protection and turn it on.

If you are the one doing the mailing, you might be wondering what the numbers are as far as subscribers or supporters who use email.

This list from Litmus has almost 40% using Apple iPhone to check the mail. That’s terrible news for the analytics addicts out there.

However, that same Litmus article says email marketeers at Constant Contact, so no change in open rate overall, 17.6% for August and then again in September.

I will be keeping an eye on those October numbers for sure. One, because as a user, I like privacy, but two because I have a mailing list of a few thousand people, and I am one of those analytics addicts that look each month at who and what was clicked and opened.

Thank you for reading; I hope this WOZ the kind of content you like to read UP on.



Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, author of the book “Professionally Distanced,” host of the Biz & Tech podcast, and a contributor for several organizations. Blake can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at

One comment

  • David

    October 16, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Yikes. The grammar and editorial aspects seem to have jumped off a cliff. This reads like a teenager’s really long Facebook post.

Comments are closed.


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