Aggregated Advanced Privacy framework

At a glance: Starting with the general availability of iOS 14.5+ and ATT enforcement by Apple, advertisers use the AppsFlyer Advanced Privacy (AAP) framework to control the availability of user-level attribution data from the platform.

Aggregated Advanced Privacy framework

The AppsFlyer Aggregated Advanced Privacy (AAP) framework prevents tracking across apps and websites owned by different companies and the ability to uniquely identify a user or device. AAP utilizes the Apple SKAdNetwork privacy levels as a minimum benchmark for its privacy-preserving thresholds.

The framework provides advertisers the ability to control the availability of user-level attribution data via the AppsFlyer platform.

Starting with iOS 14.5 general availability and ATT enforcement by Apple, if AAP is on, user-level attribution data for non-consenting users running iOS 14.5+ will not be available to advertisers or partners. 

AAP has no impact on the availability of aggregated attribution data and analytics reports to advertisers and partners.

AAP Impacted features

User-level attribution data in AppsFlyer is available using the raw data delivery tools listed below. If AAP is on, data provided by these tools is affected and some fields are restricted or not available:

  • Data Locker
  • Raw data Pull API
  • Push API
  • Dashboard export page
  • Postbacks to networks
  • Get conversion data (GCD) API in the context of the client-side user-level data API

 Note about GCD

If you implement deferred deep linking in paid media, use the unified deep linking API (UDL). The legacy API, which uses GCD, can't be used in the context of non-consenting users. In the case of owned media, deferred deep linking for owned media is supported via GCD and the most recent deferred deep linking API. 

Data availability principles in Aggregated Advanced Privacy

When AAP applies to a given user's data, data availability depends on that user's ATT status and the media source bringing the user. 

Definitions:

  • User-level attribution data: Data records containing device-level identifiers tied to attribution at the user level
  • Limited attribution data for advertisers:

  • Limited attribution data for partners:

    • Available: Aggregated campaign details.

    • Unavailable: User-level data that can help identify the user such as AppsFlyer ID, Custom data, Customer user ID (CUID), Click ID, IDFA, IDFV, IMEI, User-agent, and IP address. 

The terms defined are used in the figure and sections that follow to describe the data available to advertisers and partners.

Advanced_Privacy_Framework_-_Advertisers__4_.png

Paid and owned media data availability

Paid media

Paid media includes mobile ad networks with integrations in the AppsFlyer platform with whom advertisers run campaigns. 

Media type

ATT status

Data available to:

Publisher app

Advertiser app

Advertiser

Ad network

App

Authorized

Authorized

User-level attribution data

User-level attribution data

Not authorized

Authorized

Limited attribution data for advertisers 

Limited attribution data for partners

Authorized

Not authorized

Limited attribution data for advertisers 

Limited attribution data for partners

Not authorized

Not authorized

Limited attribution data for advertisers 

Limited attribution data for partners


Web

N/A

Authorized

User-level attribution data

User-level attribution data

N/A

Not authorized

Limited attribution data for advertisers 

Limited attribution data for partners

Paid media data availability per ATT status

Owned media

The Apple AppTrackingTransparency framework applies only to data collected from different companies. Therefore, owned media user-level attribution data is available to advertisers irrespective of the user ATT consent status.

Owned media includes digital marketing campaigns used by advertisers to reach customers. This includes email campaigns, cross-promotions, push notifications, and so on. In AppsFlyer, campaigns using ad networks aren't regarded as owned media. 

Controlling AAP

Advertisers, utilizing a central switch, control AAP across the platform. However, if the central switch is off, advertisers can set AAP for each partner individually using the partner's Advanced Privacy (AP) setting.
Note! The central switch overrides the individual partner switches. If the central switch is on, all partner switches are on and can't be modified. 

AAP central switch

The central switch that controls AAP is located on the App Settings page.

AAPcontrol.png

AAP enabled

  • Aggregated attribution is available. This includes, for example, Overview dashboards and reporting tools like Cohort and Master API.
  • Advanced Privacy partner switches are turned on and can't be modified. Note! They are locked in position. 
  • Availability of user-level data towards advertisers and partners is limited, as defined in the previous section.

AAP disabled

  • Aggregated attribution is available. This includes, for example, Overview dashboards and reporting tools like Cohort and Master API.
  • User-level attribution data is available for advertisers.
  • The Advanced Privacy setting per partner can be set individually. 

Before turning AAP off, consider if by doing so you will make user-level attribution data available to third parties and how they will use the data. You should work closely with your legal and other professional advisors in relation to how Apple defines tracking. Nothing stated here is legal advice. It is provided for your information and convenience.

To set the Aggregated Advanced Privacy setting:

  1. In AppsFlyer, go to Settings > App Settings.
  2. Turn Aggregated Advanced Privacy on or off as required.
  3. Click Save

Partner Advanced Privacy switch

If AAP is disabled, advertisers can set the Advanced Privacy setting for each ad network individually.

APControl.png

To turn off a partner's Advanced Privacy:

  1. Verify that the central switch for AAP is off, in the App Settings page. 
  2. Go to Configuration > Integrated Partners. Select the ad network.
  3. In the Integration tab, switch off Advanced Privacy. 

Changing the AAP setting and the impact on the partner's Advanced Privacy setting

As previously stated, the AAP setting overrides the Advanced Privacy (AP) setting at the partner level. However, if you later turn off AAP (the central switch), individual partner-level Advanced Privacy settings revert to their prior status. Meaning as follows:

  • In the past, you turned AAP off and set a few partner AP settings to off.
  • Later you turened AAP on. Remember, when AAP is on, it overrides the partner setting so effectively the AP setting is on for all partners. 
  • Now you turn AAP off again. Partner AP setting set to what you previously set. Meaning a few partner AP setting revert to off.

AAP implications for your partners

Ad networks

Related reading: Advanced Privacy for ad networks

Postbacks to ad network partners

AAP affects ad networks in relation to data shared with them and is aligned with the AAP principles that apply to advertisers in the context of an ad network. Data shared with ad networks is via postbacks which differ between the attributed ad network and the unattributed ad network.

Data sharing rules described apply to a given ad network if either of the following switches is on: 

  • AAP: App-level switch
  • AP: Partner-level switch

Postbacks for attributed ad networks

In the case of the attributed network the postback type used to share data depends on the user consent status as follows:

  • Consenting users: Regular postback containing user-level attribution data including identifiers. 
  • Non-consenting users: Advanced Privacy (AP) postback containing limited attribution data. It contains campaign details and no identifiers. Prerequisite: For an ad network to get AP postbacks they must have AP integration with AppsFlyer. Without integration, no postback is sent for non-consenting users. 

The various user consent scenarios and postback types used are illustrated in the figure that follows. 

Advanced_Privacy_Framework_-_Attributed.png

Postbacks for unattributed partners

Unattributed postbacks are sent to a network when the sending option in the integrated partner's integration tab is set to all media sources, including organic and that partner is not attributed to the event as illustrated in the figure that follows. 

InAppEventAll.png

The various user consent scenarios and postback type used are illustrated in the flowchart that follows.

Advanced_Privacy_Framework_-_Unattributed.png

Analytics partners

AAP affects analytics partners in relation to data shared with them and is aligned with the AAP principles that apply to advertisers in the context of the analytics partner.  Data shared with the partner is via postbacks.

Data sharing rules described, apply to a given partner if either of the following switches is on: 

  • AAP: App-level switch
  • AP: Partner-level switch

Postbacks containing user-level attribution data including user identifiers are sent for consenting users. No postback is sent in the case of non-consenting users. 

The various user consent scenarios and postback type used are illustrated in the figure that follows.

AAP_-_Analytics_partner__1_.png 

Agencies

Data availability: The impact of AAP on agencies is similar to that of advertisers. If raw data is available to the agency for a given app and AAP applies to a given user's data, the data is available according to the rules of limited attribution data for advertisers

Agency changing an ad network's Advanced Privacy setting:

  • If AAP is off, the Advanced Privacy setting of each integrated partner can be set.
  • By default, only advertisers can change the Advanced Privacy setting; however, the advertiser can explicitly give the agency permission to set the Advanced Privacy setting of ad networks enabled by the agency. 

Grant an agency permission to set Advanced Privacy

agency_advanced_privacy.png

To allow an agency to set Advanced Privacy:

  1. Go to Configuration > Integrated Partners. Select the agency.
  2. In the Permissions tab, switch on Change the Advanced Privacy setting.
  3. Click Save.
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