Several large Chinese tech companies have devised a method to bypass Apple’s new anti-tracking restriction: This is always used when a user has spoken out against app tracking in iOS. The company’s activities could well have the potential to cost some of the credibility of Apple’s efforts to make data protection more effective.
As is well known, Apple introduced a new requirement with iOS 14.5 that obliges developers to obtain the permission of a user if they want to track their behavior in their apps and across app boundaries. It is also known that Facebook, among others, major concerns registered has because it is probably not entirely wrong to suspect that many users would not be able to give this permission.
Meanwhile, one in China already devised methodsto bypass the new requirement. They are used by ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and Tencent is also one of the group in which the process is named CAID was developed and is now being used.
It goes back to the efforts of the Chinese state industry association China Advertising Association, which has around 2,000 members. The The CAID process forms an alternative structure within which cross-app tracking is possible based on the individual characteristics of the device and installation. Since the advertising alliance is large and hundreds of millions of users use the products that are sold by the members, a sufficiently large reach comes together.
Apple does not want to tolerate any exceptions
CAID should always be used when the IDFA is not available, Apple’s pseudonymous ID for advertising partners. This is always the case when users have not allowed app tracking. Neither TikTok, nor its parent company or any of the other companies mentioned was understandably prepared to comment on the topic. Apple said, however, that they will not allow any violation of the rules and that no exceptions will be made.
However, it is questionable whether Apple will actually act with all relentlessness if the method of bypassing app tracking is used extensively. This would put the company directly on a course of confrontation with the Chinese leadership, which oversees all the activities of Chinese companies. But that is not known to be Apple’s policy in China. Thus, a tolerated violation of the anti-tracking requirement could affect Apple’s credibility in this regard in the long term.