At WWDC, Apple announced that iOS 14, which is expected to be launched this September, will change the approach to handling the Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA). According to the new rules, all applications will have to request user consent before sending their data to advertising platforms.
As a matter of fact, the deprecation of IDFA, which had been predicted by many, did not happen: the tool will continue to run, but default IDFA tracking in iOS 14 will be disabled. The user consent will be obtained as follows:
Furthermore, before installing an application, the user will have an opportunity to get an explanation of what data the application collects and passes on to third parties:
IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) was the only device advertisement identifier on the iOS operating system that was available for all applications and did not change from one app to another. Thanks to this, IDFA was widely used for attributing an application traffic source, as well as for user targeting and retargeting. It was this identifier that made it possible to to track a device across multiple applications.
IDFA contains no personally identifiable information and can be updated by the user if desired. When using the IDFA, no personal data linking advertising activity to a real person should be transmitted by the developer.
For MyTracker user data protection is the key priority. We make sure that applications do not transfer personally identifiable data to analytics systems. All event and parameter data transferred by the developer undergo automatic template-based checks. If data misuse is suspected, we contact the developer and work out scenarios for data anonymisation and irreversible hashing.
Apple offered advertising networks to use its new SKAdNetwork method, in which case Apple will handle attribution by itself and transfer installation data to the advertising network. However, information about the device on which the application was installed will not be available either to the advertising network or to the promoted application.
Users will feel the pinch from IDFA changes as well. For example, some applications that monetised through in-app advertising may start charging fees for certain options or become fully paid.
Having assessed possible scenarios for iOS, we enhanced the role of Fingerprint in MyTracker without compromising the quality of user experience. Our solution uses a set of impersonal device parameters, which allow linking an advertising interaction to app installation in cases where IDFA is not transmitted.
We keep a close eye on the industry and support the development of alternative solutions that will secure both user privacy and correct attribution. Now it is still difficult to predict how the market will respond, but the key probable scenarios are as follows:
Please mind that the changes will only affect iOS devices. Analytics and all marketing tools will continue to work the same way as they did before for 87% of smartphones all over the world, as Google has not yet announced any changes in GAID for Android.