2021-03-01

Is Apple Banning Free Analytics SDKs?

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Allen Pike, writing on the Steamclock blog:

The challenging thing for developers evaluating all this is that many of the points above have not been said so explicitly by Apple. Apple has instead outlined a series of rules, each rule being worded somewhat differently between the App Privacy documentation and the App Tracking Transparency documentation. A generous reading makes it seem like you maybe could comply with the rules and still use some of these SDKs. Maybe.

Apple did not – and from a legal perspective likely can’t – explicitly ban the Google Analytics, Flurry, Facebook, and Firebase SDKs. Their wording leaves some wiggle room. It seems like it could be possible to use them. It seems even more possible that Facebook and Google could make them usable. However, this puts developers in the situation of evaluating the changing documentation, complex privacy policies, and large settings panels that these tools offer, trying to judge whether a given setup of a given SDK would now pass muster from Apple’s perspective.

What’s becoming obvious is that these coming changes in iOS 14.5 are about a lot more than just the IDFA tracking identifier.