Apple is apparently not willing to look the other way when it comes to Chinese tech firms that are working on ways to circumvent the Cupertino firm’s App Tracking Transparency rules.
Financial Times reports that Apple on Thursday sent warnings to at least two Chinese app developers using methods to track app usage without user permission. “We found that your app collects user and device information to create a unique identifier for the user’s device,” reads Apple’s email, which says that the developer must update the app to comply with App Store rules within 14 days or risk its removal from the App Store.
When iOS 14.5 is released to the general public, it will bring new requirements for app developers. All apps that access an iPhone’s ad identifier or IDFA will need to explicitly ask a user’s permission before tracking.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the state-backed China Advertising Association (CAA) is currently testing a tool that bypasses the new Apple privacy rules, allowing companies to continue tracking users without their consent.
The new user tracking method, call CAID, is reportedly undergoing testing by tech firms and advertisers in China. FT says TikTok owner ByteDance has already provided its developers with an 11-page guide suggesting that advertisers “use the CAID as a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable.”
A Chinese marketing industry veteran told Financial Times that “big and small firms” in China are all considering using CAID, but Apple’s recent actions “will put a stop to these tests.”
Apple reportedly has the ability to detect when an app uses the CAID tool and could block such apps from its China App Store. However, such a move could cause a confrontation between all involved parties if CAID is supported by the Chinese government and China’s tech firms.