Google to Stop Collecting Advertising Identifiers in iOS Apps in Response to iOS 14's Upcoming Tracking Prompt

Apple will soon require iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV app developers to request permission from users to collect their random advertising identifier (known as the "Identifier for Advertisers" or "IDFA"), which advertisers use to deliver personalized ads and track how effective their ad campaigns were. Specifically, users will be presented with a prompt to allow or deny tracking as necessary when opening apps on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, as part of Apple's App Tracking Transparency ("ATT") policy.

nba app tracking transparency prompt ios 14 4
In response to this upcoming change, Google today announced that it will stop collecting IDFAs for the "handful" of its iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes once Apple's new policy goes into effect. As a result, Google said it will not need to show Apple's tracking permission prompt in its iOS apps.

In a blog post, Google said that app developers may see a "significant impact" to their Google ad revenue on iOS after Apple's new policy takes effect:

Apple's ATT changes will reduce visibility into key metrics that show how ads drive conversions (like app installs and sales) and will affect how advertisers value and bid on ad impressions. As such, app publishers may see a significant impact to their Google ad revenue on iOS after Apple’s ATT policies take effect. To help improve iOS monetization rates, we encourage developers to upgrade to version 7.64 of the Google Mobile Ads SDK for new features like SKAdNetwork support.

Google has a support document with more information on how developers can prepare.

Apple has also required developers to fill out a privacy label when submitting new apps and app updates to the App Store since December 8. Google added that it is "working hard to understand and comply with Apple's guidelines" for all of its apps in the App Store, and ensured that its iOS apps will be updated with privacy label information as necessary when new features or bug fixes are introduced. Many of Google's most prominent iOS apps have yet to display this privacy information, including the main Google app, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, and others.

Facebook has criticized Apple's new policy, claiming that it will hurt small businesses who benefit from personalized advertising. In response, Apple said users deserve transparency and control. "We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users," said Apple, adding that "users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not."

Top Rated Comments

macsplusmacs Avatar
11 weeks ago
And it pained them to NO END to do this.

Thank you Apple!
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGeneo Avatar
11 weeks ago
This is why i will stick with Apple
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
11 weeks ago
It's pretty much an admission by Google that users don't want this type of tracking. Otherwise, Google would live with the prompt.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
11 weeks ago
I have a hard time believing Google, they don't give up ad revenue that easy, there must be a catch.
Might have found another sneaky way...
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
11 weeks ago
That is funny. It is OK to do, as long as no one knows you are doing it? Definition of sleaze. On the otherhand, it is a good thing that google is dong this, regardless of the reason. Maybe they have seen the error of their ways and are becoming a better corporate citizen. Oh, I can't stop laughing. My apologies to anyone else who is laughing so hard they can't stop
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cal6n Avatar
11 weeks ago
To help improve iOS monetization rates, we encourage developers to upgrade to version 7.64 of the Google Mobile Ads SDK for new features like SKAdNetwork support.
Does this translate as "We have found a way of tracking iOS users that "technically" we don't need to declare"?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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