Mobile advertising IDs are probably not long for this world.
Neither Apple nor Google – which is fresh off announcing its plan to kill third-party cookies in Chrome less than two years from now – has taken concrete steps to eliminate their respective device IDs as of yet, but the app ecosystem should be preparing for that eventuality.
Even Facebook seems worried. Facebook CFO Dave Wehner recently cited “product changes and future plans” coming from mobile operating systems and browser providers, such as Apple and Google, as a likely contributor to ad targeting-related headwinds in the year to come.
It’s likely that Apple’s IDFA will be the first shoe to drop, with Google following Apple’s lead. The same thing happened after Apple replaced its unique device identifier, or UDID, with the IDFA in 2012 in an attempt to curb persistent tracking. Google followed suit in 2013 with the release of an advertising ID for Android, a replacement for its unique Android ID.
But device IDs have proven not to be the privacy-preserving solutions they were meant to be, and now it’s time for another change.
“Whenever an app or ad tech company does something stupid, that gets thrown in the App Store or Google Play’s face,” said Ana Milicevic, principal and co-founder of Sparrow Advisers. “Apple and Google need to police their own backyards.”
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