Trying to track users without permission? Prepare to be rejected.
What you need to know
- Apple is now rejecting apps using the Adjust SDK.
- The SDK does not allow users to opt-out of tracking and is reportedly offering workarounds to privacy protections.
Apple has begun implementing some of the anti-tracking protection it has built into iOS 14.
As reported by 9to5Mac, the company has begun rejecting apps that use a third-party SDK to collect user data without their consent.
Developers can implement some SDKs that help them track users by a method called “device fingerprinting,” which uses multiple attributes such as the device model, IP address, and other data to identify a person across the internet. Apps often use this data for deep analysis about their audience or to sell advertisements.
While tracking the user is not exactly illegal, Apple wants to put an end to apps that do this without explicit consent. As noted by analyst Eric Seufert, the company is now rejecting any apps using the Adjust SDK, which is one of those SDKs that provides device fingerprinting.
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
Seufert talked to 9to5Mac and said that it is not surprising that the SDK is blocked as it does not have an option to opt-out of tracking and has been recommending workarounds to developers.
There would be no problem for these developers if the Adjust SDK complied with Apple’s new privacy guidelines, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Seufert detailed to 9to5Mac that the Adjust SDK not only doesn’t have an option for users to opt out of being tracked, but has also been suggesting alternatives for developers to continue tracking users once Apple enables App Tracking Transparency.
Apple’s new privacy protections in iOS 14 will require developers to ask for permission before tracking users.
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