Applications that are to be distributed in Apple’s App Store must in future adhere to the so-called App Tracking Transparency (ATT), otherwise they will no longer be permitted. That’s what developers report. In addition, Apple itself reminded its developers of this on the developer website.
No bypass allowed
ATT means that applications that want to read the central advertising ID of the iPhone must first register this with the user and have it approved. Since many users are not allowed to do this, tracking lucrative customers across applications will be more difficult in the future – at least with Apple’s on-board tools. The group also wants to prevent developers from using bypasses – and reject corresponding applications in the future if they are discovered. The advertising ID (“Apple ID for Advertisers”, IDFA for short) can already be deleted and partially configured by users, but this requires an excursion into the system settings, which many users fail to do. The opt-in that now takes place makes the tracking significantly more visible.
New app store rules
Developers submitting apps must have ATT now consider. According to Apple, the technology will be introduced with iOS, iPadOS and tvOS 14.5. The corresponding change can be found in the App store rules under point 5.1.2 (i). With the appearance of the new operating systems, “all apps” should support ATT, Apple continues. If the user does not give their consent, the IDFA automatically only consists of zeros and a user should not be tracked, according to Apple. Loud Messages from several developers Apple has now begun to reject apps that contain certain advertising SDKs such as Adjust because they are used for device fingerprinting. Developers should check for updates.
Criticism from Facebook
ATT is not without controversy. Competition watchdogs examined the process and Facebook raised a massive mood against the technology. Apple initially postponed tracking transparency, but didn’t move away from introducing it with iOS 14.5. You can read more about the new app tracking in the upcoming Mac & i issue 2/2021.