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Apple has begun rejecting app updates that do not comply with the App Tracking Transparency rules that the company is enforcing starting with iOS 14.5, according to a new report from Forbes.

nba-tracking-prompt.jpg

Apps must ask for permission to access the advertising identifier or IDFA of a user's iPhone in order to track them across apps for ad targeting purposes, a rule that apps will need to comply with when iOS 14.5 launches. The rule also prevents apps from using other workaround methods for tracking users, which is getting some developers into trouble already.

Several apps have been rejected so far, with Forbes listing Heetch, Radish Fiction, InnoGames, and more. Developers seeing app rejections are 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-app-transparency-tracking-rejection.jpg

Mobile marketing analyst Eric Seufert said 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.


Apple is blocking apps that are using fingerprinting techniques to collect data for the purpose of building a profile of a user that allows the user to be tracked even without an advertising identifier. Data collection uses 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, that user has also declined other tracking methods. Apple's App Store rules say 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 now updated its SDK to remove code that accesses data like CPU type, phone memory, charging status, and battery level, so apps that were rejected for using Adjust may be able to have their updates greenlit after installing the new Adjust SDK.

There's still no word on when Apple plans to release iOS 14.5, but we've had six betas so far and the software is set to be available to the public sometime in the spring. With the App Tracking Transparency rules starting to be enforced for updates, it is possible that Apple is preparing for the software's launch, so we could perhaps see it debut in the near future.

Article Link: Apple Now Rejecting App Updates That Defy iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency Rules
 

Homme

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2014
760
720
Sydney
Oh hell yes. Good move Apple. Love how this company respects privacy and security of the owner.

I hope Facebook looks at this as well

this needs to be spread to those who have Android. Get a cheap iPhone or iPad, update it to iOS 14.5 and all apps must have this feature after upgrading. A match made in heaven
 

LFC2020

Contributor
Apr 4, 2020
11,427
23,407
Apps have to “ask”, but they don’t have to comply. It’s just a “request”. In reality, it just give the user a false sense of security. Why doesn’t the dialog say “Do not track me” or “Block app tracking”?
So it’s a waste of time? 🤔
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
5,188
5,636
Vancouver, BC
Apps have to “ask”, but they don’t have to comply. It’s just a “request”. In reality, it just give the user a false sense of security.

The app review process catches any code designed to uniquely identify a device, which is the essence of this very article.

Why doesn’t the dialog say “Do not track me” or “Block app tracking”?

It would be bad for Apple to promise that they are successfully blocking app tracking, but then some apps manage to bypass that. Who would users blame — Apple or the app developers? You guessed it... Apple. So this is up to developers to honour, and Apple to enforce, but with technology, anything is possible. Apple needs to protect themselves, too.
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,250
175
So how will this work? I test iOS 14.5 on one of my iPhones, but it hasn’t stopped all my Apps from working... and I rarely get the pop-up asking for permission...
 

SurferPup

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2011
452
324
Sunshine Coast, 🇦🇺 Australia
I really appreciate Apple's efforts in protecting my privacy. This is something I expect Google not to do with their Google Play Store. I strongly recommend users of mobile and stationery devices to use a paid VPN service, Wi-Fi calling (as all mobile calls are recorded and monitored by you may know who in America) and iMessage as messages have end to end encryption. Signal has the same and good if outside of the Apple ecosystem however the receiver is required to use the app as their default message service to be able to receive a message.
 

BugeyeSTI

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,768
3,197
Arizona
Apps have to “ask”, but they don’t have to comply. It’s just a “request”. In reality, it just give the user a false sense of security. Why doesn’t the dialog say “Do not track me” or “Block app tracking”?
Hopefully "ask" means "don't" politely and if they don't comply the app gets hammered by Apple. Otherwise I agree, and you just have to allow the tracking or delete the app..
 
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