In Apple’s most recent WWDC privacy was a key topic. One of the big reveals in this area was that come September, when iOS 14 is released, users will be asked if they would like to allow or restrict data sharing per app. After this, the question on many developers’ minds is… What happens to my analytics? Will my reporting still work or will it be restricted? The answer, for GameAnalytics, is yes! Here is why.
All our SDKs are ready for this (and have been for years)
GameAnalytics always determines an identifier for each device that is sending data from a game. We call this the GameAnalytics User ID. This value is normally a device identifier (like IDFA on iOS), but when this is not available a random User ID is generated and used on all future data for the lifetime of the app install.
For years it has been possible for iOS users to not allow access to the IDFA in their privacy settings by enabling “Limit Ad Tracking”. In this case, the device returns a string of zeros instead. When this happens, we assign the device a unique random identifier and the player is still identified & counted accurately across all our reporting. Easy-peasy!
For iOS14 (when users select “Ask App Not to Track”) this is exactly what will happen; the IDFA will be a string of zeros and we will use a generated User IDs instead.
Having this logic in place enables GameAnalytics to work on any platform (including platforms which don’t have an advertiser ID of their own) and also to continue to work reliably for players that restrict access to their IDFAs.
All our features will continue to work
Analyzing player behavior, building reports, or creating A/B tests all depend on the User ID remaining the same for the lifetime of the app. As this is still the case, all our functionality will continue to work as it does now.
Will it affect my current games using GameAnalytics?
When iOS14 is rolled out we expect more users will select “Ask App Not to Track” compared to users having the “Limit Ad Tracking” enabled currently. For existing integrations, players who already have a game installed and update to iOS 14 may be switched to the zeros-only ID by the OS if they opt for “Ask App Not toTrack”. For such cases, we are working on a way to accurately identify these players as returning, using other information associated with the player. We are also doing our best to make any changes backwards compatible with existing SDKs. We’re still investigating and we will share more details on this, as we progress. Keep an eye on our blog and SDK updates, to ensure you’re always up to date.
What will change in the industry?
IDFAs are useful in order to identify a player across platforms. This is used, for instance, when cross-promoting or retargeting players. IDFAs make it possible to get a list of players who played one of your titles, load this into an advertising platform, and promote the sequel you just released – whether or not the players are still in the game. They also make it easier to attribute an install to a specific campaign, if the two platforms are integrated.
How these use cases will change depends on industry-wide paradigm shifts, and decisions made by individual vendors. In other words, it’s too soon to say, but the industry has weathered many of these changes well in the past.
Need more information?
If you’d like to know more about how GameAnalytics tracking and reporting works, we’re always here to help. Just get in touch with us, and our savvy support team will answer any questions.