Understanding IDFA Guidelines

Violating Apple’s terms, even unknowingly, will cause your app to be rejected from the app store. Setbacks like this can be costly and detrimental to your app. Unfortunately, with Apple’s abandonment of the UDID last year, in favor of the IDFA, developers have been left confused about allowable uses of the IDFA. In order to help you ensure that your code is compliant, we would like to highlight proper uses and potential violations to avoid.

Firstly, what IDFA uses are prohibited by Apple?

  1. Tracking user behavior across different apps for the purpose user identification or analytics.
  2. Building user profiles.

According to Apple’s guidelines for developers, the IDFA value (IDentifier For Advertisers) can be used only for serving advertisements. The IDFA can be shared with advertisers in order to allow them to track user behavior across different apps. After months of uncertainty in the advertising community, Apple has recently clarified that the IDFA is allowed only in the following scenarios:

  1. Serving advertisements within an app.
  2. Install attribution to a previously served ad.
  3. Attribution of a post-install action such as number of launches, subscriptions, or in-app purchase.

If you are working with an Ad serving platform such as TrialPay sharing the IDFA and allowed.

In addition to the IDFA, Apple has introduced a flag called “Limited Ad Tracking”. This allows users to further restrict the collection of data on their device. If a user sets the “Limit Ad Tracking” flag to “On”, it means that the advertising identifier can only be used for the following purposes: frequency capping, conversion events, estimating the number of unique users, security and fraud detection, and debugging.

Our guess is that the dust is far from having settled in what the changes in the UUID and IDFA rules will mean for developers and the broader app environment. What is clear is that large platforms such as Apple and Facebook are taking the protection of customer privacy more seriously. In the short term, learning how to work within these new constraints might prove challenging but it should ensure a healthier environment long term.