Apple recently announced that, as part of the iOS 14 update, it will be giving users the choice to block the IDFA identifier at the app level. Among other changes, what this means is the iOS 14 update will require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data.
According to reports, Apple has taken the strategic stance that privacy is a user right and is currently taking steps to grant users more ability to opt-out of any type of targeting or tracking. This change is expected to occur across Apple’s entire product portfolio.
“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.”
In the following post, we cover everything advertisers need to know about the iOS 14 update including our expert recommendations for next steps.
What is IDFA?
The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a unique identifier for mobile devices that are used to target and measure the effectiveness of advertising on a user level across mobile devices.
When is the iOS 14 release date?
This change will occur during the iOS 14 rollout, which is predicted to be released in September/October (although an exact date has not been confirmed). Once the change is released, a prompt will appear during the app installation/update process that prompts the user to opt-in to the sharing of IDFA information.
Today, about 70% of iOS users share their IDFA with app publishers, and this number is expected to drop to 10% to 15% after the update. As for publisher and advertiser consent, we don’t yet know how many people will grant IDFA consent and how it will vary across publishers, networks, and advertisers.
Note: As of this writing, Apple hasn’t released written iOS 14 policy guidelines. We’re expecting them to be released mid-September and will update this post when more information becomes available.
How will this update impact advertisers?
Advertisers will be impacted in two main areas:
Any retargeting to users (based on device-level targeting) will no longer work for users that have opted out of sharing their IDFA. Platforms like Google and Facebook have other deterministic variables they can use to identify devices (email, phone number) but other programmatic platforms that don’t have such deterministic ID graph information are likely to see a reduction in targetable audiences.
Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) built its measurement and fraud capabilities around the IDFA identifier. While Apple has announced a replacement API (SKAdNetwork) that will allow for conversion data to be passed back at the campaign level, we’re still going to see a reduction in the fidelity of data that MPPs have to identify fraud and performance across mobile campaigns.
Note: Tinuiti is actively engaging MMPs to better understand what data will be lost as a result of this change.
ACi will probably see a decrease in scale and performance when users opt-out of IDFA and there may be limitations to app audience-related features and re-engagement campaigns after the rollout.
Next Steps for Advertisers
If you have a mobile app, you’ll need to update your measurement SDK to the latest version to ensure proper tracking on iOS devices.
“First-party data is king. Our advice to all advertisers is to start the process of creating a usable identity graph of customers and prospects with an email address and/or phone numbers as your primary key to ensure your organization can continue to market on a 1 to 1 level across ad products”
– Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer at Tinuiti