A guide to the user opt-in

With iOS 14, Apple is enhancing its protection of app users’ privacy rights. This will be handled by an explicit request for tracking authorization by the AppTrackingTransparency framework (ATT). Although making this request will not be enforced until 2021, you should start preparing for the change now to set yourself up for success. 

A breakdown of Apple’s new policy

Apple has outlined various updates that will be rolled out with iOS 14. Here’s a breakdown of the key points you need to know about. 

Changes to the App Store design

Apple plans to redesign its App Store in order to promote each app’s privacy information. This will include callouts on an app’s product page to inform users about what data the app may collect. App publishers will need to provide this information and details of how they work with third-party partners whose code they integrate into their app. Find out more

Defined scope of user consent

Effective early 2021: Apple’s privacy policy makes it clear that it is not just the sharing of an IDFA that requires user consent. In fact, any of the following activities require explicit user consent via the ATT pop-up: the sharing of emails, advertising IDs, or any other ID with a third-party advertising network that uses that information to retarget those users in other developers’ apps or to find similar users. 

Refined policy on SDK use

Effective early 2021: Apple has refined its policy for apps using SDKs and the requirement for user consent. Now, any app that has a third-party SDK combining its user data with the user data from other developers’ apps to target advertising or measure advertising efficiency, will need to serve an ATT pop-up requesting consent. This applies even if you do not use the SDK for these purposes. For example, using an analytics SDK that repurposes data from your app to enable targeted advertising in other developers’ apps.

Guidelines on how you may request user consent

Apple has now issued guidelines clearly outlining the specific parameters you may work within when requesting user consent. We urge you to strictly consult and adhere to these when planning your strategy. Read the guidelines

Outcome of user consent refusal

Should you choose to serve the ATT pop-up requesting tracking consent, you will begin actively working with the ATT framework. At this point your app will be included in a list under the device’s Privacy Settings. From this point, if a user chooses not to allow tracking, you will no longer receive IDFA information. 

Ask permission to track

Recommended next steps

Define a strategy

In early 2021, Apple will require everyone to serve the ATT consent pop-up. Get ahead and start thinking about your strategy today. Define a UX strategy that details how you can optimize your chances to persuade users to opt-in. Begin by auditing the type of data your app collects. What data is business-critical and what data could you do without?  

Consider permission prompts

To help encourage users to opt-in, Adjust recommends that you display a persuasive prompt before showing Apple's ATT consent request. The pre-permission prompt gives users an early indication about an upcoming consent request. This context makes them feel more comfortable and is an opportunity for you to explain exactly how data is used to their benefit. Their response can also inform whether to follow with the Apple pop-up immediately. 


Start testing

Put your strategy into action and start testing as soon as possible. Examples of the different dimensions you can test are:

  • Behavioral messaging
  • Message frequency
  • Tone
  • Vocabulary
  • Design
  • Format (full screen, banner)
  • Sequencing (serving after a user completes a specific action)
  • Onboarding (serving during onboarding)

We recommend A/B testing if you want to compare two categorical variables. For example, to assess the impact of two different pre-permission prompt designs on the opt-in rate. If, however, you would like to see how multiple different categorical variables compare with one another, it is best to use a log-linear analysis model. Here for example, you might compare the prompt’s design, with its placement in the app journey, relative to the opt-in rate. 

Want 1:1 guidance with your testing?

At Adjust, our UX and Data Science experts are running a global project to get data insights on the most important messaging factors. Throughout the lead up to Apple’s enforcement of the ATT consent pop-up in 2021, we will be detailing our in-depth recommendations for consent techniques based on a variety of factors, such as vertical and region. If you’d like to get involved, reach out to your Adjust liaison. 

Consider your timing

User consent is an important topic for app users, app publishers, and Adjust. Consequently, it deserves careful handling. Since the ATT pop-up will not be enforced until 2021, use this time to prepare yourself fully.