App Publishing
October 3, 2022

What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?

By 
Geoff Parent
Updated 
October 3, 2022
App Publishing
October 3, 2022

What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?

By 
Geoff Parent
Updated 
October 3, 2022
What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?

GoNative provides an end-to-end solution that enables you to deploy web-based applications as native iOS and Android apps. Learn more

App Publishing
  —  
October 3, 2022
Updated on 
October 3, 2022

What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?

By 
Geoff Parent
Updated 
October 3, 2022
What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?
Updated on 
October 3, 2022
App Publishing
  —  
March 25, 2022
March 25, 2022

What is App Tracking Transparency for iOS & How Do I Stay Compliant?

By 
Geoff Parent
Updated 

GoNative provides an end-to-end solution that enables you to deploy web-based applications as native iOS and Android apps. Learn more

With users spending more and more time shopping, socializing and utilizing services online, the issue of data privacy has become a pressing issue in recent years. Tech companies have been under increasing pressure to make improvements to consumer privacy, including transparency around data collection and tracking of users across websites and apps. While such tracking can lead to convenient, personalized experiences online, it can also be used to track behavior in a way that many users may not be comfortable with.

In response to calls for a more transparent digital ecosystem where users have more control over how their data is collected and shared, Apple introduced the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework in April 2021 for apps running on iOS 14.5 and later. Read on to learn what App Tracking Transparency is and how you can stay compliant when building and publishing iOS apps.


What is Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Framework?

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency is a technical and legal framework focused on improving user privacy. Under the framework, all new apps running on iOS 14.5 and higher must allow users to manually and explicitly opt-in to tracking. As an app publisher you must provide a rationale for tracking users and request their consent before doing so. If the user denies your request to track them then you must not perform any tracking actions within your app, including via your website when it is being accessed through your app.

Have more questions? Apple addresses a number of frequently asked questions about ATT on their User Data and Privacy page.

What Activity Qualifies As Tracking to Apple?

Apple defines tracking as “the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.” Some examples of this include:

  • Displaying targeted advertisements in your app based on user data collected from apps and websites owned by other companies.
  • Sharing device location data or email lists with a data broker.
  • Sharing a list of emails, advertising IDs, or other IDs with a third-party advertising network that uses that information to retarget those users in other developers’ apps or to find similar users.
  • Placing a third-party SDK in your app that combines user data from your app with user data from other developers’ apps to target advertising or measure advertising efficiency, even if you don’t use the SDK for these purposes.

Important: Planning on using GoNative to convert your existing website to a native app? It's important to note that any tracking performed via your website while it is being shown within your GoNative app should be treated the same way as any native functionality in your app. Under Apple’s ATT framework, app publishers are responsible for all the code included in their app, including any integrated third-party SDKs.

What Activity Doesn’t Qualify As Tracking to Apple?

Under ATT, any tracking that happens exclusively within your app is acceptable, provided that the data is not is not linked to user data recorded in your website or across any other app. Apple does also not consider it tracking when:

  • User or device data from your app is linked to third-party data solely on the user’s device and is not sent off the device in any way
  • The data broker with whom you share data uses the data solely for fraud detection, fraud prevention, or security purposes.
  • The data broker is a consumer reporting agency and the data is shared with them for purposes of: Reporting on a consumer’s creditworthiness OR obtaining information on a consumer’s creditworthiness for the specific purpose of making a credit determination.

Implementing App Tracking Transparency is Easier With GoNative

When you build a native app with GoNative, we make it easy to configure your app to utilize Apple's AppTrackingTransparency Framework and remain compliant:

  • You can include a custom usage description to provide your users with the reason you need to track. Tailoring this message will help increase the chances of users providing consent. 
  • If a custom description is not provided your app will display this message: “Your data will be used to personalize your experience and at times to deliver personalized ads
  • You can display Apple’s consent prompt automatically when your app first loads, or you can call a JavaScript Bridge function to display the prompt in the context of when you need to start tracking
  • Learn more about configuring ATT within your app in our documentation.

Implement ATT, Stay Compliant and Publish Successfully With GoNative

Ensuring ATT is implemented properly on your app is an essential step to getting your native app approved and published on the Apple App Store. If you are looking for more guidance on ATT or any other component of configuring your app, consider GoNative’s Full-Service App Configuration Service. Our experienced team will help you configure a stunning, immersive native app that meets all of your requirements and is ready to publish. Learn more about our app configuration services here.

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Geoff Parent
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