Update on Apple’s IDFA Crack Down
UPDATED Feb 15 2014
A few days ago we wrote about Apple rejecting apps that show no ads but still collect the IDFA, counter to clause 3.3.12 of developer license.
Unfortunately for those getting their apps rejected, they’re often not aware that they’re collecting the IDFA. Many third-party SDKs collect the IDFA as a matter of course, placing developers at risk. Putting aside the reasons behind this latest crack down (Sarah Perez discusses some good theories on TechCrunch), SDK vendors are speaking out on how to avoid getting flagged for rejection if your app is not showing advertisements. We’ll update this list as we get more information.
NBC News: Adds more context, including this quote from Suhail Doshi, founder of Mixpanel:
“IFA was specifically invented for the world of advertising and it put users in control,” he wrote. “The new policies around it are now likely to cause app developers, as a last resort, to do things that will be worse for consumer privacy as they work around IFA — with far less transparency.”
Tapstream: We don’t collect IDFA by default. If you’re showing ads you can enable collection with these instructions.
Mixpanel: Used to collect IDFA – the latest SDK, just released, no longer collects it.
AppLift: The network can fall-back to fingerprinting when the IDFA is not present.
Unity: Collects by default but provides instructionts on how to remove IDFA collection.
Appboy: New SDK was just released that makes IDFA collection optional.
AppsFlyer: Doesn’t require IDFA collection, but follow the instructions to be compliant.
Apsalar: Now confirms the issue, no remedy suggested yet.
TapSense comments and suggests options.
Appsfire launches OpenIDFA as a possible solution.
Recap: if your app does not show ads then don’t collect the IDFA. You should also check which SDKs you have integrated and make sure to disable their IDFA collection if necessary. You need to do this for your next update, but nothing will happen to your app in the interim so no need to rush.
If your app does show advertisements, then you are fine. Bear in mind that we’ve heard from one developer who’d had his app rejected for 3.3.12 violation despite showing ads in his app. After a request for reconsideration, he was approved. So maybe allow extra time for approval if the ads inside your app are not obvious.