September 22, 2016 by Morgan Friberg

iOS 10’s “Limit Ad Tracking” Impact and FAQ

What Mobile Marketers Need to Know About Zeroing Out IDFA

It’s been well documented that iOS 10 introduces many new privacy features. The one that has sent shockwaves through the mobile marketing and attribution industry is “Limit Ad Tracking” within device settings.

If a user turns on “Limit Ad Tracking” on their iOS 10 device, they effectively zero out the device ID (IDFA). Essentially a user opts-out of ad tracking and their device ID is completely hidden. This means it’s no longer possible to deterministically attribute installs and in-app activity resulting from advertising impressions shown to these users.

For those who this new feature is likely to affect, we’ve created the following FAQ:

Liftoff iOS 10 “Limit Ad Tracking” FAQ

What is the iOS 10 change to “limit ad tracking” and zeroing out IDFAs?
iOS 10 introduces a change which masks or “zeroes-out” the device ID (IDFA) for users who select the “limit ad tracking” option in their iOS Settings app. In other words, when users opt-out of ad tracking in iOS 10, their device ID is now completely hidden. This means it’s no longer possible to deterministically attribute installs and in-app activity resulting from advertising impressions shown to these users.

How many iOS users will be affected?
We believe this setting affects somewhere between 10-15% of users, depending on the country.

How will Liftoff handle iOS 10 zeroing out IDFAs for users opting to “limit ad tracking”?
At the time iOS 10 is released, Liftoff will stop showing impressions to these users because probabilistic attribution (using fingerprinting) is less effective for the purposes of campaign optimization via machine learning.

Can Liftoff use device fingerprinting instead of IDFAs?
It is possible to probabilistically attribute installs and in-app activity to these users using device fingerprinting. This method of attribution is useful, but intrinsically less accurate than device-ID matching. Device fingerprinting for attribution purposes is implemented by the mobile tracker (e.g. Tune, Adjust).

How will the change affect the performance of Liftoff on iOS devices?
Liftoff campaigns generally spend much less on the “opt-out users” than regular users, because we have limited user composite data on the opt-out users since they’ve opted out of behavioral targeting. We believe the impact on our customers’ iOS campaign spend levels will be less than 10%.

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