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IDFA and how to avoid getting your app rejected by iTunes

Posted on May 06, 2014
By Abhishek Khurana, Product Marketing ManagerProduct Marketing Manager

With a strong emphasis on user privacy, the mobile app ecosystem has gone through several changes over time (such as deprecation of UDID, MAC address and so on). Recently, Apple introduced certain updates to their app submission guidelines wherein each developer must declare their intended usage of the Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) and respect Apple’s Limit Ad Tracking requirement. InMobi respects user privacy and its SDK is in compliance with all of Apple’s policies.

What is IDFA?

The Advertising Identifier (IDFA) is a unique ID for each iOS device that mobile ad networks typically use to serve targeted ads. Users can choose to limit ad tracking by turning off this setting on their devices. Apart from serving targeted ads that result in better monetization for developers, ad networks also use this ID for conversion matching (attributing app installs to the source), frequency capping, estimating unique users, security and fraud detection, and for re-engagement/retargeting campaigns.

Brief History on Apple’s IDFA-related Policies

In February, Apple started enforcing a clause that affected apps that were retrieving the IDFA but were not showing ads. This resulted in several app developers facing app store rejections, followed by an outcry from several ad networks and analytics companies that purely relied on IDFA to attribute app installs back to the source.

However in April, Apple updated its stance on IDFA by allowing it to be used for attributing installs and post-install actions, which was a welcome change by the entire mobile app ecosystem. This policy update allowed IDFA usage in three scenarios - (i) to serve ads within the app (ii) to attribute this app installation to a previously served ad and (iii) to attribute an action taken within this app to a previously served ad. Developers submitting their apps to the App Store now have to mandatorily declare their intended usage of the IDFA.

Recent Changes

Apple has further updated its IDFA-related policies to ensure that any apps using IDFA comply with the “Limit Ad Tracking” requirement. Hence, to avoid app store rejections, please ensure that you select the appropriate IDFA usage check-boxes for your app and honor Apple’s “Limit Ad Tracking” requirement. InMobi has been completely in-line with the Apple IDFA policies and honors the Limit Ad tracking option since the launch of iOS 6.0, ensuring that a user’s preference to opt out of any interest-based advertising is respected.

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Next Steps

To help you in the app store submission process, follow this link for detailed instructions on submitting your app to the iOS app store.

Note: If you are integrated with an SDK version older than 4.3.x, we strongly recommend that you follow this link to upgrade to the latest SDK for better performance and monetization.

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