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Home Blog App Store News Apple App Store News: iOS Will Forced to Enable App Privacy Tracking in Early Spring 2021

Apple App Store News: iOS Will Forced to Enable App Privacy Tracking in Early Spring 2021

Feb 19 2021

On January 28 (International Data Protection Day), Apple announced on the developer website that it will launch the transparent APP privacy tracking function in the next iOS14 Beta beta (including iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, etc.), and will be publicly launched in the iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and Apple tvOS 14 updated versions released in the early spring of this year. In addition, Apple also reminded developers to check the implementation of AppTrackingTransparency in the App.

After the function is launched, developers will not be able to track users without the user's permission, and the advertising identifier values of their devices will all be zero; users can also see which apps have tracking permissions and change them by themselves.
App Tracking Transparency
In addition, Apple also mentioned that in the new versions of iOS and iPadOS, in order to reduce the impact of restricting developers’ IDFA access rights, SKAdNetwork (The statistics platform officially launched by Apple will provide advertisers with unique identifiers about users. When the advertising platform makes advertisement recommendations, users can be read and tracked.) will be enhanced and "private click measurement" support for App will be added. "Private click measurement" can measure the advertising activities that lead users to the website while protecting user privacy.

Official iOS App Store news about privacy tracking


In 2020, as part of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has introduced many important privacy features designed to help users make more informed decisions about their data. In terms of helping users protect their privacy, there are especially two great potentials:

1. Apple uses the new privacy information section on the App Store product page (a feature called privacy nutrition labels).


Apple requires each application (including its own application) to provide users with an easy-to-view summary of developer privacy practices. Every product page on the App Store contains standardized, easy-to-read information based on developer self-reported data conventions. Privacy nutrition labels provide users with key information about how the app uses their data-including whether the data is used to track data, linked to data or not.

2. App Tracking Transparency will require the application to obtain the user's permission.


Starting with Apple’s next Beta update, App Tracking Transparency will soon require apps to obtain user permission before they can track their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under "Settings", users will be able to see which apps have requested tracking permissions and make changes as needed. With the upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14, this requirement will be widely promoted in early spring and has already won the support of global privacy advocates.

IDFA adjustments arrive as scheduled


Apple has always attached great importance to the protection of user privacy. As early as the release of iOS12 and iOS13, Apple has strengthened the upgrade of privacy features. At the WWDC20 Global Developers Conference in June 2020, the release of iOS 14 has pushed the concept of user privacy protection to a new level:

1. The App detail page in the App Store will display App privacy terms and permissions (on December 14, 2020, the privacy label has been displayed on the App product page of the App Store);
2. Adjust IDFA access permissions. All applications must obtain the user's permission through the App Tracking Transparency framework before they can track or access the advertising identifier of the user's device.

IDFA was created by Apple in 2012 and has been widely used in the field of digital marketing. Advertisers can track the whereabouts of iPhone users on websites and apps, and better target advertisements and evaluate their effects.

Previously, because the IDFA entry was not obvious, many users opened it by default and did not know where to close it. After the transparent APP privacy tracking function is launched, developers need to obtain the user's permission through the App Tracking Transparency framework to track the user or access the advertising identifier of the user's device.

In order to give developers more time to change, Apple announced in September 2020 that it will postpone the adjustment time and will adjust IDFA access rights in early 2021. The release of this news confirmed the launch of the function in the early spring of 2021.

For users, personal privacy information will be fully protected from Apple's privacy policy, but for developers, Apple's adjustment of IDFA access permissions will bring a series of chain reactions.

After the implementation of the new rules, it is estimated that 40% of users will refuse to track.


After the transparent APP privacy tracking function is launched, the developer must obtain the user's consent through the pop-up window to obtain the user's IDFA. After adding this seemingly small action, according to industry experience, it is estimated that more than 40% of users will refuse to track. This has a direct impact on the Internet advertising industry that needs to obtain accurate user information through IDFA for advertising. In addition, advertising revenue will even have an impact on the digital advertising industry.

Since 2020, affected by the epidemic, people have devoted more time to the mobile Internet. While daily activity has increased, the exposure and clicks of digital advertisements have also made advertising revenue record highs. Take Facebook as an example, in the fourth quarter of 2020. , Facebook advertising revenue increased by 31% year-on-year, reaching 27.187 billion US dollars. Not only Facebook, but Bernstein Research analysts predict that the digital advertising services of Google, Twitter, Amazon and other companies will set new revenue records. After the transparent App privacy function is launched, these Internet companies that rely on digital advertising will Facing huge challenges.

How to deal with IDFA adjustments?


Whether apps need to acquire users through digital advertising or use digital advertising as a source of income, the adjustment of IDFA will have an impact on developers and promoters. There are also two different voices from major foreign companies on Apple’s new features, such as Google said that its APP will cooperate with support for the first time, while Facebook believes that "Apple threatens the personalized advertising that millions of small businesses rely on to find and reach customers."

It should be noted that if the user rejects App tracking, the APP must not use other methods to read IDFA, otherwise it will be removed by the App Store. In fact, you don’t have to panic too much about the adjustment of IDFA access rights. There is currently a hotly discussed solution. You can find out in advance:

Apple's official statistics platform: SKAdNetwork 2.0 (URL:https://developer.apple.com/documentation/storekit/skadnetwork)

Regarding SKAdNetwork, Apple mentioned this time that in the upcoming iOS and iPadOS versions, SKAdNetwork will be enhanced, and "private click measurement" for App will be added. While protecting user privacy, it can also guide users to the website. The advertising campaign is measured and more information will be announced later. The ASO World data analysis team will pay attention to relevant news and synchronize with everyone in time.

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