Snap Tests Alternative to iOS 14’s App Tracking Transparency, Says It Is 95% Effective

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Snap Inc, the owner of the popular app Snapchat, has previously voiced concerns over Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. A new report published today claims that the company has tested a workaround to the iOS 14’s app tracking transparency which is said to have a 95% success rate on identifying individual users.

iOS 14’s app tracking transparency has caused havoc in the advertising industry. The popular social media network, Facebook, is already behind Apple, accusing the company that it will have catastrophic effects, and would change the internet for the worse. Now, Snap says that it has tested a method that doesn’t violate Apple’s term, and is successful in tracking individual iPhone users.

Up until now, apps like Facebook, Instagram, and for that matter every app with ads on the App Store, has relied on a technique called Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) to identify each iOS user. This unique ID is assigned to every iPhone and iOS device across apps and websites and tracks the usage of the user. According to the data it records, an ad is shown to the user.

With iOS 14, Apple no longer allows apps and websites to see the IDFA so the advertisers are not able to track the users. According to Financial Times, Snap has tested a workaround, called “probabilistic matching”, that uses the same approach as the banned SDK.

Snap wanted to gather data from companies that analyze whether people have responded to ad campaigns, including aggregated IP addresses, the labels that identify devices connected to the internet.

It hoped it could take that data and cross-reference it against the information it holds on its own users to identify and track them, in a technique known as “probabilistic matching,” according to several people familiar with its plans.

Snap has now admitted that it ran such tests behind the scenes but says that the company won’t implement the SDK when Apple rolls out app tracking transparency with iOS 14.5. It says, ” We support and will follow Apple’s upcoming guidelines because we have always believed that advertising should respect consumers’ privacy.”

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[Via Financial Times]