Urgent: iOS 14 IDFA permission


Apple has announced that from iOS 14, if an app wants to read the IDFA, they must receive permission from the user with the following rather scary prompts:

Since Expo forces us to tick the IDFA box when submitting an app, does that mean that once iOS 14 is released, all Expo apps will be prompted with these messages ? Or does this only apply for a certain SDK version ?
At my company we are currently running on SDK 38.

Moreover, our app uses expo-branch. Is that something to be worried about or will branch continue to work without IDFA ?

I really need clarity on this matter because we are approaching the iOS release date and there is no way we’ll allow this in our app.

Thanks in advance.

@adamjnav i’m sorry to tag you in here but you seem to be the one responding the most to forum topics and it’s quite urgent for me to be clear on this matter. :slightly_smiling_face:

According to this - Expo iOS Guidlines when SDK 39 is released if we upgrade and rebuild then we can choose IDFA as NO if it’s not used.

@james.kindyhub Indeed but will apps submitted with SDK 38 (thus having to tick “yes” to the IDFA question) automatically get the prompt on iOS 14 ?

Ah I see your point!

I don’t know the answer, but I’m keen to see if anyone else does, right know we’re in the same boat. We’re trying to plan upgrading to SDK 39 but this post only suggests they will try and get SDK39 out “in time” for iOS 14 which doesn’t leave us much space to upgrade with!

hey @clem_acc thanks for bringing this up!

It’s not clear from Apple whether these changes mean that the prompt will automatically be shown (I personally don’t think that’s the case). More likely, at least for existing apps, if you are collecting the IDFA and haven’t updated your app to include the prompt asking for the user’s permission, the IDFA you collect will just be all zeroes. That’s just what it looks like from the documentation, but that being said Apple’s documentation on this is pretty sparse so I really can’t be sure, and if you’ve heard otherwise lmk

Just in case these IDFA changes are a lot more aggressive than people expect, we’ve already put in work to update the Segment and Amplitude libraries so that the IDFA code isn’t included, and have reached out to Branch and the Facebook iOS SDK folks to try and get more information on how they’re handling this (and if library updates are forthcoming). The safest thing to do is obviously completely remove any IDFA-related code, but that’s up to those two remaining libraries to do.

Hey @charliecruzan, thank you for clearing things up, I feel a little less concerned.

The only potentially IDFA-related library we are using is Branch but our use of Branch is very limited, we strictly use it to get referring params, which I believe doesn’t have anything to do with the IDFA.

I have one more question, you’ve said:

If indeed the IDFA changes are more aggressive than we thought, will Expo’s changes regarding Segment and Amplitude be applied to previous SDK versions or only the latest?

If indeed the IDFA changes are more aggressive than we thought, will Expo’s changes regarding Segment and Amplitude be applied to previous SDK versions or only the latest?

Probably not, unless the IDFA changes are much more aggressive than Apple has indicated

Ok. Would be amazing if you guys could write a quick blog post on the matter once the path is clearer. Thanks again.

Is there any updated info on this topic? Given the sudden release of iOS 14 tomorrow, this worries me somewhat. We don’t use the IDFA but have it included due to the Managed workflow & libraries…The prompt would be pretty ugly if it came unbidden.


I have found these reassuring articles regarding this issue: Apple delays privacy feature that would let iPhone owners keep ad tracking at bay - The Verge
The Great iOS 14 Reprieve (For Now) | The Branch Blog

As I understand the matter, starting early next year, if you tick the IDFA box when submitting an app, you will automatically be prompted.
Luckily, SDK 39 will be out by then.

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Where did you read this? I didn’t find this in either article you linked

Is there additional guidance on how to address this? From reading the Prepare for iOS 14+ tutorial, it seems we have to add the text below to our “infoPlist” section in the app.json file. However, that same tutorial also talks about displaying the authorization request. Will the Expo Admob Tutorial be updated accordingly to provide more information on how to display the authorization request?

“NSUserTrackingUsageDescription”: “This identifier will be used to deliver personalized ads to you.”

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It seems I have misread this section of the second article:

  • For now, if you don’t ask, you keep getting the IDFA (this is the meat of Apple’s timing update today).
  • If you ask and the user opts-in, you’ll get the IDFA both now and after Apple starts enforcing.
  • If you ask now and the users opts-out, you won’t get the IDFA both now and after Apple starts enforcing next year.
  • If the device-wide “Allow Apps to Request To Track” setting in iOS 14 is off, you don’t get the IDFA — both now, and after Apple starts enforcing. This is functionally the same as LAT today, except the direction of the toggle is reversed.

Honestly, you probably know better than me what the behaviour will be (or you will know, assuming Expo gets more information on the matter in the coming weeks/months).

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