NativeX Prepared for “Limit Ad Tracking” in iOS 10

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Steven Stewart

September 8th, 2016



Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) in iOS 10

Apple’s iPhone launch event on 7 September included announcements for the final details for iOS 10.  One announcement concerned changes to the Apple Limit Ad Tracking feature which was originally rolled out with iOS 6 that allowed users to opt out of cross-app-marketing by randomizing their device’s IDFA, by app.

This was designed to preserve and protect a user’s desire for anonymity, while still allowing attribution to happen on an app-by-app basis. NativeX’s SDK has followed Apple’s guidelines for Limit Ad Tracking since they introduced this setting of opting users out of behaviorally targeted ads.

As the install base for iOS 10 grows over the next several months, we anticipate that about 10-15% of requests will eventually have the Limit Ad Tracking toggle enabled.

What Has Changed?

The new iOS update’s ability to significantly limit ad tracking on mobile will not block ads, but it will remove the ability for advertisers to target ads based on location or user behavior data.

Once Limit Ad Tracking is toggled, the IDFA (Identifier for Advertising) will now be set to all zeroes instead of being randomized. Since the IDFA is frequently used for attribution on iOS, this now essentially renders any user behavioral tracking useless.

How Does This Affect Advertisers?

For users who have enabled Limit Ad Tracking, we can no longer use IDFA as a method for delivering CPI/CPA ads. If we receive a session from a device where the IDFA is all zeros, we will fall back to treating it as a mobile web device, using the same fingerprinting technology that we use for other mobile web tracking. Of course, this device will only be eligible to see offers where mobile web traffic is allowed, so the selection of offers will be more limited. This is a better alternative to losing all potential for revenue from this traffic.

Users who enable the Limit Ad Tracking feature will not see a reduction in the number of ads a user is shown, but will just get generic and poorly targeted ads. This also removes advertisers’ ability to limit the number of times an ad is shown to a particular user, so the same ads can appear over and over instead of letting the ad tech limit the total amount of times an ad is shown to one user.
Speak Geek?

For you techie types, here is how the logic will work:

  • If IDFA == 0000 and publisher sends User Agent and Client IP and Publisher User ID, treat this session as Web Attribution
  • If IDFA == 0000 and publisher is not sending the above fields, null session (Can’t do business)
  • Else, IDFA is available, business as usual

iOS 10 is officially scheduled to launch on September 13.

Steven Stewart


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