iOS 14: A new challenge for marketers

This September Apple will release a new update which will also consist of new restrictions on ads tracking, reaffirming the company’s devotion to its customers through this focus on user privacy. All apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking.

The update consists of a permissions dialog asking the user to access their IDFA before any tracking occurs, before any app launch takes place, and even before opening any kind of feature within the app. The message will describe the reason behind the tracking to provide the user with more transparency and the ability to decide whether to opt-in or opt-out.

As far as Conversion Tracking, for the time being, we know that Apple will send a notification of the attribution to the advertiser through SKAdNetwork (their API Network) for those publishers who are registered. This occurs right at the moment the app is first launched, which then generates an install notification resulting from an ad. What about Tracking Conversion Events? How restricted will the information be? Well, the tracking will be possible, but there will be no match with the device. The conversion value associated with the event will be restricted to an unsigned 6-bit value, and determining the meaning of that value will be the ad network’s responsibility. Ultimately because of how restricted this value is, it’s ultimately meant to capture the highest value event a user performs within the first 24 hours of the installation and launch of the app.

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Another important thing to note is the campaign identifiers, which ad networks would use to identify their own individual campaigns — these will need to be integers from 1 to 100, so channel-specific IDs will need to be an additional responsibility which will also restrict the active and trackable entities to a maximum of 100. To dive into much deeper detail on this topic this you can also check out this insightful blog article that focuses on the iOS14 SKAdNetwork and App Tracking Transparency nitty-gritty.

This major update and the fundamental changes as far as user privacy is concerned could be a turning point for the mobile ad-tech environment and there are already many ideas, opinions, and concerns surrounding this topic. We will keep an eye on this issue in the next few months and will continue to report on the coming developments.

If you want to know more about the upcoming changes you can also read up on it in this interesting article which goes into even more detail if you are interested in all the technical aspects.

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