Apple’s WWDC23 has recently ended, and with it came a host of updates to the company’s platforms, products, and services. The announcement of Apple’s mixed-reality headset, Vision Pro, was easily the most eagerly awaited of the lot. Still, the tech giant also had a lot in store for app marketers and developers.
This article covers updates app marketers and developers need to consider for their strategies and campaigns.
App Store Privacy Updates
At WWDC23, Apple doubled down on its commitment to data privacy with key updates to the App Store.
Here’s what app marketers and developers need to know about these changes:
Apple’s Privacy Manifests
To help developers understand how third-party SDKs use data, Apple is introducing privacy manifests in Xcode. These manifests provide files outlining privacy practices, which will be combined for all SDKs found and sent to developers in an easy-to-use report.
As Apple explicitly stated, the intended purpose was to disrupt device fingerprinting to force app developers to indicate a legitimate use case for data collection by potentially non-compliant SDKs.
New SDK Signatures
Apple is introducing SDK signatures that validate the integrity of software supply chains when using third-party SDKs. This feature verifies that the code downloaded was written by the expected developer, improving transparency and security for developers and users.
The End of Device Fingerprinting?
Despite Apple’s efforts to eradicate its use, the fingerprinting model has remained a popular ad measurement solution for many ad networks.
However, the company announced that apps that reference APIs flagged as potentially using fingerprinting will now be required to declare an approved reason for using these APIs in their privacy manifest.
To ensure that SDK partners’ data collection and usage practices align with Privacy Nutrition Labels, Apple now requires developers to “sign off” on Privacy Manifests, which populate PNLs. This strengthens Apple’s commitment to user privacy and data protection.
So what’s next?
This change could have a lasting impact on app marketers, owners, and developers who relied on the added value of the fingerprinting model. Ad networks may also need to find other ways to add value to marketers with campaigns and optimization methods that rely only on SKAN.
Apple plans to release more information about high-impact SDKs on user privacy, the list of ‘required reasons’ for APIs, and additional documentation on signatures and privacy manifests later this year.
To best prepare for these upcoming changes, we recommend checking out our complete guide to SKAdNetwork 4.0.
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To summarize, these updates are part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to protecting user privacy while allowing developers to continue creating innovative apps for their platforms. App marketers and developers should consider these changes when formulating their strategies and campaigns.