How to Submit Your App When it Uses IDFA

On April 11, 2014, Apple released updated guidelines for iTunes Connect on how app developers can use the Apple Identifier for Advertisers (IFA/IDFA). Accordingly, we address these new guidelines in respect to the use of Attribution Analytics and implementing our iOS SDKs into your apps as a third-party.

When you submit your apps with iTunes Connect, you’ll now be prompted with three checkboxes certifying your intentions for IFA to:

  • Serve advertisements within the app.
  • Attribute this app installation to a previously served advertisement.
  • Attribute an action taken within this app to a previously served advertisement

As a client of Attribution Analytics with our iOS SDK installed in your apps, we hope the following information helps you sort through the new checkboxes when submitting your app.

“Serve advertisements within the app”

Our SDK has optional functionality to display ads where we use IFA to help target ads within your app. If you’re using IFA to serve advertisements in your app (either with TUNE, another third-party, or some internal technology that your company uses to display advertisements in your app), then check this check.

“Attribute this app installation to a previously served advertisement”

Attribution Analytics’s primary value proposition is to provide advertising attribution. Attribution Analytics uses two methods to attribute an install back to an advertisement, identifier matching and device fingerprint matching. IFA is the unique identifier used with iOS devices. As described in our methodologies of attribution, IFA provides measurement with 1:1 accuracy while device fingerprint matching accuracy is based on statistical probability. Thus, using IFA for attribution is more accurate and should be used whenever possible. If our iOS SDK is implemented in your app to collect IFA (recommended), then this checkbox should be checked.

“Attribute an action taken within this app to a previously served advertisement”

This selection refers to Re-engagement, where the user is an existing user who already installed the app. Re-engagement occurs when an existing user of an app sees an ad, and then opens the app and generates in-app events. Similar to install attribution, Attribution Analytics can use IFA when attributing events to ads as part of the identifier matching process. When our iOS SDK is implemented in your apps, we use IFA to attribute events to ads as part of Event Re-engagement. Thus, when your app is implemented to collect IFA and you are measuring at least one other event besides the install, then this check box should be checked as well because we use IFA for event attribution.

IFA_Submit_Checkboxes
 

iOS Limited Ad Tracking

The TUNE SDK does collect the iOS “Limited Ad Tracking” setting with all requests when IFA is collected. Apple’s API documentation for the ASIdentifierManager class outlines the Limited Ad Tracking functionality as follows:

  • “Check the value of this property before performing any advertising tracking. If the value is NO, use the advertising identifier only for the following purposes: frequency capping, conversion events, estimating the number of unique users, security and fraud detection, and debugging.”
  • Accordingly, Attribution Analytics only uses the IFA for “conversion events, estimating the number of unique users, security and fraud detection”. We do not use the IFA value for any other purposes. The data is also owned by you, our client, and not us as outlined in our Service Agreement.
  • So when Limited Ad Tracking is enabled, we still use IFA for the purposes outlined above. We never use IFA for any retargeting or behavioral profiling.

Your advertising partners, including ones we are integrated with, may use IFA for other purposes not permitted when limited ad tracking is enabled by the user. When using our Postback URL mechanism for installs and events that include the IFA value, it’s required to include the Limited Ad Tracking setting in the postback URL and it’s up to the advertising partner you are working with to comply accordingly based on the user preference.

If a postback URL includes the iOS IFA value, then include one of the following Limit Ad Tracking settings:

  • {ios_ad_tracking} – If the ios_ifa parameter is going to be used, then ios_ad_tracking parameter must be specified to indicate whether the user has limited ad with 0 being limited.
  • {ios_ad_tracking_disabled} – Can be used to indicate if iOS ad tracking is limited instead with 1 being limited.

6 Comments

Leave a reply
  • Vinayak  •  February 13, 2016

    Useful information. Referred while submitting the app and App store successfully accepted the binary.

  • Viktoriya  •  February 18, 2016

    I’ve found only 2 cases when IDFA can be reset
    1/ when user reset it him/herself
    2/ after re-installing of iOS

    Does IDFA reset after iOS updates? I mean, I don’t know what is the process of iOS updating. To be more clear, does iOS updating = re-installing in this case of IDFA reset? (I did not find an answer on the help desk or forum of Apple)

    • Grace  •  February 18, 2016

      A device's IDFA will not reset due to updates to the Operating System itself. As you mentioned, the IDFA can be reset by the user directly or via a manual re-installation of the OS.