Apple to begin cracking down on non-compliant developers

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Apple has been slowing phasing out the old UDID, the unique identifier used to track ads, due to increased privacy concerns and changes to Apple’s ecosystem. In its place, they introduced the IDFA and have been strongly encouraging publishers to adopt the IDFA throughout 2013.

Since its rollout, rules surrounding the IDFA have been pretty loose. With this latest rule change, Apple wants to ensure that all developers are using the IDFA correctly, and that third-party advertisers aren’t collecting, sharing, or storing data without user consent.

Apple introduced these new rules a few months ago, but has since updated the rules to warn developers that they risk having their app rejected or pulled from the App Store for not complying.

What is the IDFA and How Should It Be Used?

The IDFA is a unique ID assigned to each iOS device, and it is meant to be used to offer targeted, personalized ads. Think of it as similar to cookies on a web browser.

And, like web browser cookies, iOS users have the option to limit the usage of ad targeting on their devices.

Below are the 3 approved uses for the Advertiser Identifier:

-To serve advertisements in your app

-To attribute your app’s installation to a previously served advertisement

-To attribute an action taken within your app (i.e. an in-app purchase) to a previously served advertisement

Per Apple’s new rules, developers must explicitly identify which of the above approved IDFA uses they intend to employ in their app(s).

In addition, developers must ensure that any third-party code that interfaces with their app (i.e. an ad network) also complies with IDFA rules and policies and honors a user’s choice to limit ad tracking. To do this, developer should contact their third-party provider and make sure that the provider is compliant with all above rules.

Is StartApp compliant?

Yes.

StartApp developers should know that our iOS SDK is 100% compliant with all of Apple’s most recent ad guidelines, including all listed above.

Apple seems pretty serious about enforcing these new rules, so all iOS developers should take steps to ensure that their apps are not violating any IDFA rules to avoid being penalized. You can find the full text of Apple’s new policies on iTunes Connect.

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