Apple is serious about enforcing its privacy rules.
In June 2020, Apple introduced iOS 14. It’s the biggest iOS update to date. It brought new features that aim to improve user experience. But they also cause nightmares to many businesses that hinge on advertising and marketing.
Although iOS 14 was announced in June last year, its tracking transparency rules were only implemented in September 2020. This would give developers more time to tweak their apps and comply with the rules.
Defying Apple iOS 14.5 Tracking Transparency Rules
Apple has just started to enforce these rules through its iOS 14.5 release. Apps that don’t follow these rules would be rejected, according to a new report.
With the said rules, apps must first ask the permission of the user to tack them using the advertising identifier. The rules also include preventing apps that use workaround methods that track users.
Several apps have been rejected so far including Heetch and Radish Fiction. When the app is rejected, the developer will see a message that says, “Your app uses algorithmically converted device and usage data to create a unique identifier in order to track the user.”
Barring Apps that Use Adjust SDK
Adjust is a mobile measurement company. Its SDK collects data for device fingerprinting. It has been installed in over 50,000 apps.
But Apple also blocked fingerprinting techniques in collecting data to build a user profile as it allows the app to track the user without the use of an advertising identifier.
For Apple, if the user opted out of the IDFA for ad tracking, it would mean that the user also doesn’t allow other tracking methods.
The transparency rules state that developers aren’t allowed to gather data from a device to identify it. Apple assumes that developers are responsible for all the tracking codes they add to their apps. And that would include third-party SDKs.
Probabilistic attribution or device fingerprinting is a method that utilizes data about a device for identification.
It collects data on time since the last system update, time zone, software version, and many others. It also includes a collection of data of the battery status, charging level, and disk space.
These data are enough to be used on who clicked an ad or who installed an app. These data could build a graph that gives insights and history on each device that the software interacts with.
But Apple doesn’t allow these methods when it released iOS 14.
The App Tracking Transparency has already agitated several big tech companies, especially Facebook. This social media company relies on its ads for income.
But Facebook isn’t the only one affected. Many companies will be greatly impacted, especially those that rely on data collection.
These rules aim to protect the users. If they don’t want to be tracked, the app can’t trace them. Apple wants to police any effort to get around its requirements.
And these rules also apply to Apple’s apps. It means that all tracking methods aren’t allowed in Apple News, Stocks apps, and many more.