Apple recently announced the newest version of its upcoming major mobile software update, iOS 15, for a fall release. With it comes new features around privacy and security, and the one that has been inciting concern among email marketers is the Mail Privacy Protection function. It’s important to understand how Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) works, the potential impacts for marketing metrics, and what to do now to prepare.

How Does the iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection Feature Actually Work?

Mail Privacy Protection is a function that anyone who updates to iOS 15 can opt-in to use within the stock Apple Mail application found on iPhones and iPads. By opting in, users will be choosing to hide their IP address and privately load all remote content of any email they receive through the app.

This is a crucial point for marketing professionals, because most senders will capture open data by use of an open pixel contained within the content of the message being delivered. By Apple privately loading all content through this update, marketers will not be able to accurately determine which recipients are actually opening a message in their Apple inbox. Instead, every message that delivers to Apple mail will appear as an open, even if the recipient does not actually do so.

Are iOS 15 Privacy Updates Affecting Everyone?

While it is still early, what we know so far is that this feature is only available on iOS 15. For anyone who does not update their iPhone to iOS 15, open data will still be available as normal. Additionally, this is only applicable to iPhone and iPad Apple devices AND only applicable to the stock Apple Mail application. Any recipient who engages with email on an Android device, or a desktop, or a browser, or through any other email client application will report accurate open data as we are accustomed to seeing. On a technical level, it goes a little deeper than this, because many people who use non-Apple clients (like Gmail) on Apple devices still set up Apple Mail as part of their default before linking other accounts.

Therefore, even if a user is opening their messages in Gmail (or another app), opens will still be pre-fetched, and thus inaccurate. However, if a recipient has integrated their non-apple mailbox (i.e.,,, or addresses) within Apple Mail on iOS 15, then we expect to see inaccurate open reporting. Depending on how your leads and customers configure and access their email accounts, you will have varying degrees of reporting inaccuracies.

To learn more about the impact of this privacy update and how to prepare for it, read the full blog written by our partner Act-On Software, here.

Do you need help navigating Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.