Forbes reports that Apple has begun rejecting app updates that do not comply with the App Tracking Transparency rules that the company will begin enforcing in iOS 14.5, which is currently in its sixth beta release.
When iOS 14.5 is released to the public, Apple will begin enforcing its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature. App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track and make changes as they see fit.
Users will see prompts that include options to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App not to Track” when opening apps that wish to track their activity.
When a user selects “Ask App not to Track,” the app will be blocked from accessing the user’s IDFA. The developer is also required to respect the user’s tracking preference overall and is not allowed to use other methods to track the user. Developers that violate the app tracking rules could see their app removed from the App Store.
Forbes lists several apps that it says have been rejected so far, including 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.
Mobile marketing analyst Eric Seufert on Thursday tweeted 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.
Per a number of developers, Apple has begun rejecting app updates that include the Adjust SDK related to its collection of data used for device fingerprinting.
— Eric Seufert (@eric_seufert) April 1, 2021
Apple takes the position that if a user has declined the usage of the IDFA for ad tracking, that user has also declined other tracking methods.
Adjust has updated its SDK to remove code that accesses iPhone data like CPU type, phone memory, charging status, and battery level, and so on, meaning that apps that were rejected for using Adjust may be able to have their updates approved if they install the new Adjust SDK.
Apple hasn’t announced the exact iOS 14.5 release date, but since the update is on its sixth beta, and since the beta releases are now coming each week, there is a good chance the new update will launch in the very near future.