Apple has just updated iTunes Connect, a service that mobile developers use to showcase and update their apps on the iTunes App Store. The new language details how the Ad Identifier (IDFA) should be used. The tech giant also requires compliance from developers with these rules by checking the box.
Formalizing the Process
Apple started the screening process in February, rejecting some applications that were using the unique identifier without showing ads. This time, however, the company is formalizing the process. It means that Apple can now reject any apps that fail to comply with its rules.
The tech giant had been informing developers last year that it was time to use the IDFA as the preferred advertising tracking option within the iOS apps. This change followed the initial phase unique identifier called the UDID back in 2011. For various reasons, which included a changing regulatory environment and privacy concerns, the UDID no longer performed the way Apple wanted mobile developers to identify users of its devices and apps or even track their activities.
The problem with UDID also included depriving users of taking back control over their information by resetting their identifier or using opt ? out features. This was a task that had the same purpose as taking out cookies off a computer.
The IDFA is Now the Official Method
Other tracking methods from third parties came out after the UDID was phased out. However, Apple?s IDFA has now been made the official method. These changes are basically about respecting the user?s privacy choices on mobile. They were also prompted by the increasing scrutiny as to how iOS developers collect, store and utilize consumer data.
Although it was designed for app developers and not advertisers, a lot of advertisers have accessed and passed the Ad Identifier to ad networks for the purpose of tracking. Others, including developers, may have been gathering ad tracking data for reasons such as building user profiles and retargeting campaigns.
To put it simply, Apple is now requiring even the third parties accessing the application to request the Advertising Identifier (IDFA) for purposes such as counting installs or serving ads.