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iOS 14: App Tracking Transparency

iOS 14: App Tracking Transparency

Apple has shared a few more details about its much-discussed privacy changes in iOS 14. The company first announced at WWDC in June that app developers would have to ask users for permission in order to track and share their IDFA identifier for cross-property ad targeting purposes. While iOS 14 launched in the fall, Apple delayed the tracking restrictions until 2021, saying it wanted to give developers more time to make the necessary changes.

Privacy, who’s got it and who hasn’t is at the forefront of the soon to launch update to iOS 14.5, App Tracking Transparency is a new feature requiring apps to request permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.

iOS 14.5 is the update where Apple will begin applying its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature, which will require app developers to ask for and then receive a user's permission to access their random advertising identifier (known as the IDFA) to track user activity across other apps and websites.

Now, when an app wants to access the IDFA, users are presented with a prompt with options to "Allow Tracking" or "Ask App Not to Track." Already implemented in iOS 14, these features are available to developers, but with iOS 14.5, they are unavoidably mandatory and not voluntary.

Selecting "Ask App Not to Track" prevents the app's developer from accessing the user's IDFA and developers will also have to obey the user's tracking preference and not use other methods to track users. Disobeying this rule could cause an app to be removed from the App Store entirely. Tracking preferences can be managed by going to Settings > Privacy > Tracking.

What else might be included in the iOS 14.5 update is still not clear, but primary concerns are performance improvements and bug fixes for issues that weren't solved in the iOS 14.4 release.

Currently, Apple has said iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be released in the early spring.

iOS 14.4 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:

  1. Smaller QR codes can be recognised by Camera
  2. Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
  3. Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

This release also fixes the following issues:

  1. Image artifacts could appear in HDR photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro
  2. Fitness widget may not display updated Activity data
  3. Typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear in the keyboard
  4. The keyboard may not come up in the correct language in Messages
  5. Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after being paused for spoken directions or Siri
  6. Enabling Switch Control in Accessibility may prevent phone calls from being answered from the Lock Screen

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Take advantage of new advertising attribution technologies

SKAdNetwork 2.2. This update supports view-through attribution for advertisement formats such as video, audio, and interactive advertisements. This allows you to display your choice of advertising formats and measure which creatives are most effective, while preserving user privacy.

Private Click Measurement. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 bring Private Click Measurement to apps, in addition to the web. Advertising networks can now measure the effectiveness of advertisement clicks within iOS or iPadOS apps that navigate to a website. This information can be used to understand which advertisements drive conversions (such as purchases or signups) — while maintaining user privacy.

Get started by building and testing your apps with the beta versions of Xcode 12.5, iOS 14.5, and iPadOS 14.5.

Learn more about SKAdNetwork

Learn more about Private Click Measurement

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you prepare for the inevitable iOS 14 Update: