Changes to IDFA in iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork Explained


Changes to IDFA in iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork Explained


One of the most significant updates from WWDC this year regarding iOS 14 was Apple’s announcement that access to the IDFA now requires explicit permission from users, and—as they allude to—the upcoming constraints of the IDFA and tracking ad entities. If every app is required to get explicit permission from the user before tracking them or accessing their device’s advertising identifier (as pictured below), a recent survey from TapResearch suggests that the opt-in rate will be well below 30%, which would make the IDFA essentially obsolete for tracking users at scale.


Apple’s IDFA is the primary identifier used for ad tracking and attribution on iOS. SSPs, DSPs and ad networks have been using IDFA for ad targeting and retargeting, frequency capping, campaign measurement, attribution and fraud detection. Without IDFA, the mobile adtech industry will have to build new tooling and rethink current industry conventions and strategies.

In a more privacy-conscious environment, SKAdNetwork will become the new standard. Apple’s SKADNetwork API was first introduced in 2018. The concept was to rely on an API to attribute installs rather than the IDFA. Instead, app publishers will receive aggregated, anonymized data from Apple to track the install directly, such as the ad network ID and campaign ID and publisher name. As of iOS 14, new parameters will be added to SKAdNetwork that provide information around the source publisher, and a conversion event. 

There is no personally identifiable information or device IDs passed along with the attribution notification. And campaign IDs are limited to 100 per ad network, which means a severe check on the level of detail available for tracking.

What is AppMonet doing to prepare for this change?

At AppMonet, we are adopting a unified approach that allows our buy-side partners to maximize campaign and creative optimization. We are dedicated to ensuring SKAdNetwork is adopted in an efficient and optimal manner for all partners. We’re releasing reference code for those who want to start experimenting with SKAdNetwork. AppMonet proposes to support SKAdNetwork attribution by allowing DSPs to submit signed clicks to the SKAdNetwork API. DSPs that register with Apple may:

  • Obtain a SKAdNetwork ID
  • Obtain a private key that allows them to sign their key that can be verified by Apple
  • Specify a postback endpoint to receive install attribution notifications.

If a DSP wishes to use AppMonet’s SKAdNetwork solution, after registering with Apple, they should provide AppMonet with their SKAdNetwork ID.

AppMonet would publish a list of the SKAdNetwork IDs of our DSPs, and our SDK integration guide would instruct publishers to include these IDs in their Info.plist, which is required for SKAdNetwork to work.

We would flag which bid requests have SKAdNetwork support so DSPs can bid accordingly. AppMonet proposes new objects in the OpenRTB bid request and bid response to facilitate this, which are detailed in our documentation.

In the midst of this industry shift, we’d love your feedback on this. To let us know what you think, or ask any questions, please send us a note at!

Drive revenue and boost engagement. Find out how.