Apple is set to ask developers to explain their use of different application programming interface (APIs) as it moves to the final endgame in its crack down on app tracking.
The move comes as Apple has become increasingly concerned with user privacy and any and every API used to potentially circumvent the App Tracking Transparency measures they've already put in place.
The company will introduce a new category of API - Required Reasons APIs - and any developer who plans to use these interfaces will be required to justify their use in-app. Among the APIs to be included in this new category are disk space APIs, active keyboard APIs, user default APIs, system boot time APIs, and file timestamp APIs. However, this list will be continuously reviewed and periodically updated.
On the Apple Developer website, the company notes the potential for these APIs to be misused “to access device signals to try to identify the device or user, also known as fingerprinting.”
‘’Your app or third-party SDK must declare one or more approved reasons that accurately reflect your use of each of these APIs and the data derived from their use. You may use these APIs and the data derived from their use for the declared reasons only. These declared reasons must be consistent with your app’s functionality as presented to users, and you may not use the APIs or derived data for tracking.’’
The power of privacy
The update is expected to come into effect from the release of iOS 17 this fall, and companies that fail to comply with the new regulations will be rejected by App Store Connect from Spring 2024.
The move comes in the wake of new privacy regulations, preventing app stores from tracking user’s activity in its user acquisition attempts. This move has caused shockwaves throughout the industry, forcing developers to re-evaluate how they garner new users or scale their titles.
The latest measure potentially finally closes the door on any and every possible avenue for developers to use 'fingerprinting' in order to identify and track users.
In June, we presented an article by SuperScale CEO Ivan Trančík, offering five tips for those looking to successfully scale their games