Blog Here’s what you need to know about the delay to iOS 14 ad tracking changes

Here’s what you need to know about the delay to iOS 14 ad tracking changes

In brief

  • The IDFA will remain accessible without the Apple Pop Up via App Tracking Transparency framework — as it was before.
  • Users can individually deny tracking on a per app basis, if a user denies tracking to each and every app then the IDFA will be reset.
  • The requestTrackingAuthorization code in the app enables users to opt out from your app individually.
  • If requestTrackingAuthorization method is called and the user declines to consent then IDFA becomes unavailable.
  • The above changes will be in effect until early 2021.

On 3 September Apple announced an extension period for implementing its new privacy guidelines for iOS 14 and released both more precise details about those privacy guidelines and a new beta version of iOS 14 as well.

For marketers, the most important issue is that the new privacy guidelines around the IDFA will not be enforced until sometime early next year. Technically, this means that while the AppTrackingTransparency framework is still included in iOS 14, its functionality has been amended during this transition period.

In this post, we will break down what this means for marketers and what you can do to stay ahead.

Accessing the IDFA

The central point of the announcement revolves around the AppTracking Transparency framework (ATT) and the IDFA. With the beta 7 version of iOS 14, the IDFA of a user will remain available by default, and the IDFA only becomes unavailable when the user opts out of tracking. This arrangement will hold until sometime early next year, according to Apple, when it fully implements its privacy changes.

Until that time, there are two ways that users can opt-out, either via the ATT pop-up in-app or via the settings menu.

You can find the different scenarios below:

Now, let’s see what happens when you have more than one app on your phone — and how the IDFA is impacted by user consent toggles in iOS14 beta 7:

This means that the IDFA only gets reset once either the “Allow Apps To Request To Track” is turned off and then back on — or when all apps on the device have all opted out.

Adjust's recommendation

The first thing to understand is that app publishers should only implement the ATT framework in production after they have tested and researched the optimal consent flow for their apps — as currently ATT could guide users to opt out of sharing their IDFA prematurely.

Now that app developers have more time to prepare for the iOS 14 privacy changes, make sure you use this extension as an opportunity to conduct research of your consent flow and UX design. Apple has made clear that app-level consent will be enforced sometime early next year, so app marketers should refine their consent flows to be ready. Because the IDFA will become unavailable once the user opts out, consent needs to be tested thoroughly before deploying it to all your users. You can find our guide to creating a consent flow that maximises opt-ins here.

We also recommend that app developers work on their internal opt-in flow in a testing environment. The ATT framework should only be integrated once the opt-in flow is production-ready. We advise taking the time until early next year to conduct as many internal tests as possible and only use ATT shortly before Apple enforces the guidelines. As soon as the ATT framework is integrated, users can opt out of sharing their IDFA on per app basis. This way app developers can learn as much as possible from their consent flow without risking their users opting out.

We've started our own research program with the help of our leading UX and UA experts to enable our clients to implement the best consent flow that fits their app. This program is open to anyone who would like to take part. Please contact your Client Partner or dedicated Account Manager, if you would like more information, and they can make sure that you have everything you need to participate.

SKAdNetwork

SKAdnetwork has not seen any significant changes in the new beta 7 version of iOS 14 and still offers the same data visibility. However, the extension Apple announced on 3 September will allow the ecosystem to test out SKAdNetwork and build out their conversion value logic for both analytics and optimization.

In order to help the ecosystem test their SKAdNetwork functionalities, Apple has released a new SKAdNetwork profile that reduces the timers to 5 minutes. This profile is designed to be implemented on your local testing devices and used only for testing.

Please find the link is here for your convenience. Note that you need to log in to your Apple developer account to see this page.

Adjust's recommendation:

Even if the IDFA is still available, you can start experimenting with SKAdNetwork and see what insights app developers and the industry at large can get out of it. This will help you understand the limitations of SKAdNetwork and plan for them. Especially when it comes to conversion values, understanding which logic to apply and what events tie to each value will be critical for app developers leveraging SKAdNetwork.

The Adjust SDK supports all conversion value logic and allows app developers to modify these dynamically to best suit their needs. We are continuing our work for full dashboard and server-side integration in order to offer the maximum level of flexibility and granularity to app developers.

Going forward

Adjust has been hard at work building the best-in-class iOS 14 solution for our clients and partners and will provide support for a seamless transition to Apple’s new privacy guidelines. However, we welcome the decision by Apple to extend the timeline for implementing those privacy guidelines and will use this opportunity to help our clients and partners be ready when Apple enforces these changes sometime early next year.

Over the next few months, we will continue to host roundtable discussions, we will continue to develop our research on the consent flow, and we will remain focused on optimizing our products for any eventuality on iOS 14. We are very interested in any feedback as well as any use cases from the ecosystem. We are, of course, happy to help guide you through this process.

Feel free to reach out to your dedicated Adjust contact for any questions or write to us at ios14@adjust.com.

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