As we have all heard at this point given the flurry of press the new iPhone 7 is getting, iOS 10 is launching in tandem. While exciting for the consumer due to some new functionalities and speed, it presents some challenges for the marketing and advertising community.

The two main changes made in iOS 10 are:

  1. Application Transport Security (ATS) is now mandatory for developers meaning that web calls have to be HTTPS encrypted when being made from Apps.
  2. IDFA Masking – users will now have the ability to blind their device IDs entirely!

The first is an appropriate step forward in mobile security that benefits the consumer and us as advertisers. HTTPS calls are becoming the standard and this is easily addressable by our partners.

The second has the potential to make life difficult. Previously users were able to opt out of tracking in iOS 9 as well but what would happen is that their IDFA would be tagged as opted out so our compliant partners would not track them. The main point though is the IDFA was still passed.

With iOS 10 when users choose to opt out, their IDFA will be zeroed out meaning it will be completely unrecognizable. This presents a couple of challenges:

  1. We will not be able to manage reach and frequency as well as we could.
  2. Fraudsters will have an easier way in because we will not be able to recognize suspect devices.
  3. Cross screen targeting will be compromised because cookie syncing will not have an anchor on the mobile side for iOS.
  4. In-app attribution will have revert back to previous fingerprinting methodology in iOS where devices are blinded.

As always we can solve for these things and have to do so often as the environment, especially in IOS is constantly evolving. We will have to refine our fingerprinting methodologies and look for alternates at the same time. At the end of the day though the size of the audience that is actively blocking tracking is about 10-20% so scale is not affected. Why would you want to reach someone who does not want to be reached?

Ansible has already begun to work with its partners to address the above and employ the best possible practices for our agency partners and clients. We believe that everything is solvable, and this is just another task.

Please reach out to me for more details or if you would like to discuss specific instances that may be arising for you and your clients. There is also a more detail write up I have done which I can share as well.

By Benjamin Bring – VP, Media Director