Facebook to Continue IDFA Collection After Apple’s Stay of Execution

Apple delays rollout of iOS 14 privacy provision, giving breathing room for Audience Network on iPhones

Facebook had previously told its advertising partners to create an account dedicated to running app install ad campaigns for iOS 14 users. Facebook, Apple
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The media industry is holding its breath as Apple’s iOS 14 nears, given the operating system’s exacting privacy assurances for users. But the company’s decision to delay specific opt-in requests to collect iPhone identifiers (IDFAs) has thrown Facebook a lifeline.

In late August, Facebook issued a note stating that Apple’s impending rollout will cause it to cease collecting IDFAs, and move that would “disproportionately affect” Audience Network—its third-party advertising exchange—to the extent that it “may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

Under pressure from the industry to delay the rollout of iOS 14, Apple last week said it will delay its IDFA requirements, which includes asking app developers to seek consent from users before sharing them with third parties, until early 2021.

Facebook has responded accordingly, stating it will continue IDFA collection pending an update from Apple, a development that will add (limited) longevity to its ad network, which bolsters the ad revenues of app developers and media owners alike.

“We, along with the rest of the business community, continue to await final policy details from Apple,” reads an update to a blog post that focuses on how Facebook is preparing for the privacy overhaul. “Given Apple’s delayed implementation of the user permission requirement, we will continue collecting IDFA on iOS 14 in an attempt to reduce unnecessary disruption to our customers’ businesses.”

Facebook’s initial revelation of the extent to which iOS 14 will hinder the performance of Audience Network—as much as 50%—irked media owners, with a source within DMG informing Adweek the owner of the MailOnline iOS app was preparing to file a complaint about Apple to the Justice Department.

“It’s extraordinary that we all fall victim to clearly what is Apple’s war with Facebook and Google,” she added.

@ronan_shields ronan.shields@adweek.com Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.