Limit Ad Tracking in iOS 10: What Mobile Marketers Need to Know

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Apple has released an update in iOS 10 that lets users opt out of interest-based advertising by masking their device’s IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers).

While Apple has allowed users to opt out of interest-based advertising since iOS 6 by resetting their IDFA or by activating Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) in user settings, developers were still able to use IDFAs for functions like frequency capping, fraud detection and attribution.

But not anymore. With the release of iOS 10, Apple has completely hidden the IDFAs of users who enable LAT, obscuring the identifiers with a string of zeros. Roughly 10-15% of iOS users are expected to activate the setting, according to Singular’s analysis and industry estimates, causing concern among marketers who wonder whether masked IDFAs will create a hole in their attribution data.

But fear not, Singular’s got you covered. The Singular Attribution Engine attributes new and re-engaged installs and events regardless of whether an IDFA is available (and without any action required from customers who have the Singular SDK installed).   

Here’s how we do it: For the vast majority of iOS users who do not enable LAT, it’s business as usual: Singular continues to attribute users by applying its deterministic, IDFA-based attribution.

But in instances when a valid IDFA is not detected, Singular’s fingerprinting-based matching algorithms kick in to connect unique device attributes (derived from the user agent, IP address and other properties) and assign an identifier for future attribution of these devices. Our fingerprinting engine automatically limits the attribution window to 24 hours, where the accuracy rate is over 95%.

As an additional measure, to achieve the highest level of accuracy, Singular works closely with our integrated ad partners to build tracking links that are optimized for data granularity, with multiple macros passing available identifiers into our attribution engine.

All in all, we support Apple’s latest push to prevent bad actors from cross-marketing to users who opt out of interest-based advertising, and we’ll continue to stay ahead of software updates across all mobile platforms to ensure that Singular delivers the most advanced attribution solution for the top marketers in the world.

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