In line with a new report from Forbes Media, Apple has started rejecting app updates that do not adhere with App Tracking Transparency rules of the company which it is enforcing starting with the launch of iOS 14.5.
Apps must ask for permission to access the advertising identifier or IDFA of a user on iPhone in order to track them cross apps for ad targeting purposes, this rule is what all apps will have to comply with when iOS 14.5 arrives. The rule also prevents apps from using other workaround methods for tracking users, which is getting some developers into trouble already.
However, Apple have rejected so many apps since the notice, with Forbes listing Heetch, Radish Fiction, InnoGames, and more. App Developers seeing these rejections were getting the following message: “Your app uses algorithmically converted device and usage data to create a unique identifier in order to track the user,” with the message also listing the data that’s being collected.
Apple Guideline And Legal Privacy Notice
Eric Seufert a Mobile marketing analyst stated on twitter saying that an SDK from mobile measurement company Adjust is at fault because of the data that it collects for device fingerprinting. Adjust, which is installed in more than 50,000 apps, says that it “maximizes the impact” of mobile marketing.
Per a number of developers, Apple has begun rejecting app updates that include the Adjust SDK related to its collection of data used for device fingerprinting.— Eric Seufert (@eric_seufert) April 1, 2021
Related: https://t.co/D3ZWzBIDdp— Eric Seufert (@eric_seufert) April 1, 2021
Apple seems to be blocking apps that are using fingerprinting techniques to collect users data for the motive of laying a structured profile of users which also allows the user to be tracked even without an advertising identifier.
Such data collection involves metrics like software version, time since last update, time since last restart, charge level, battery status, and more to identify individual users.
It is Apple’s position that if a customer has declined the usage of the IDFA for ad tracking, the user has in everyway declined other tracking methods.
According to Apple’s App Store rules which states that app developers cannot collect data from a device for the purpose of identifying it, and developers are responsible for all tracking code in their apps, including any third-party SDKs they’re using.
Adjust has recently updated its SDK to remove script code that accesses user data like CPU type, phone memory, charging status, and battery level. Hence, all apps that were previously rejected for using Adjust might be able to have their updates permitted after installing the new Adjust SDK.
Moreover, there’s still no word on when the company plans to release iOS 14.5, There have been six betas releases so far and the software is expected to be available to the general public sometime in spring.