Facebook and Snapshot still have access to user data despite Apple’s ATT capability
Apple recently introduced the ability for developers to anonymously track users using a system called IDFA, or Advertiser Id. This feature is a random identification number similar to browser cookies and tracks user activity in applications on your device. In other words, each iPhone is equipped with its own unique identifier that allows advertisers to track user interactions such as clicking apps or downloading or watching video.
Apple has designed IDFA as a tool to protect privacy; Because it does not show the real user profile; Instead, advertisers can only see the unique code assigned to each user. However, Apple’s privacy efforts do not end there, and the company subsequently decided to adopt stricter policies on this important issue, allowing customers to determine for themselves whether applications can have their IDFA information.
Finally, Apple introduced application tracking transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5, allowing developers and advertising companies to ask the user for permission before accessing IDFA data. Recent estimates suggest that only 4 percent of Americans allow this program, and only 14 percent of the total worldwide, which could be a disaster for advertising companies.
Now, a month after the feature was introduced, companies like Snapshot and Facebook are apparently allowed to continue sharing user-level signals from iPhones; Provided, however, that the data is aggregated instead of direct links to specific, anonymous user profiles.
In general, Apple has not explicitly endorsed these techniques; But the company is said to allow third parties to track, analyze, and analyze groups of users regardless of their consent to user-level tracking. Apple apparently still trusts applications to collect user-level data such as IP address, location, language, device, and screen size; Even if some of this information is passed on to advertisers.
Snapshot investors have recently been told that the company intends to have the data of its 360 million users, including those who have opted for the “Do Not Track” option. In addition, Facebook is said to be making a long-term effort to rebuild its advertising infrastructure using anonymous data.
Meanwhile, the China Advertising Association, a government-backed group of about 2,000 members, recently introduced a new tool called CAID, which provides a way to identify and track iPhone users in the country. The system gives Chinese companies the option to access users’ data without restriction through ATT capability, even if they do not allow it.
Many companies, such as BitDense, the parent company of Tic Tac Toe, are testing the system in China. Chinese tech giants hoped that using CAID and the impact of Chinese software on the iPhone’s popularity in the country, Apple could not take action against it. In general, Apple laws explicitly prohibit this type of solution; However, Chinese companies, relying on the popularity of their programs, somehow gambled and used the tool to collect customer data without their permission.
Meanwhile, the Chinese attempt to circumvent the app’s tracking transparency failed after Apple retaliated by blocking access to updates to the apps in the App Store. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. But it is clear that advertisers will always be looking for alternative ways to circumvent Apple rules.