Living Under Apple’s Thumb, With AppsFlyer CEO Oren Kaniel

Oren Kaniel, CEO and co-founder. AppsFlyer

To say that 2021 was a weird and stressful year for the mobile app measurement ecosystem is an understatement.

But it’s not like privacy as a concern only came on the scene last year with the release of iOS 14.5 and the requirement from Apple to request permission before collecting a user’s IDFA.

“Privacy is not new for the industry,” says Oren Kaniel, CEO and co-founder of mobile attribution platform AppsFlyer, on this week’s episode of AdExchanger Talks.

“The whole thing really reminds me of UDID when the iPhone was first launched,” he says.

As a refresher, amid complaints about user privacy, Apple banned the use of its unique device identifier, UDID, in 2013, and later replaced it with the IDFA, which was created specifically for advertising.

But anyone who didn’t see the writing on the wall about the IDFA’s eventual fate probably wasn’t paying attention.

Apple has been instituting data collection restrictions for apps and on the web for the better part of a decade. Just look at SKAdNetwork, Intelligent Tracking Prevention and Limit Ad Tracking.

Still, Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework was a very big deal. Although not out of character, Apple’s move “was a big surprise for the entire ecosystem” because of its magnitude, Kaniel says.

“That’s why it took them a little while with a few delays,” he says, “to allow the ecosystem to get ready for this major change.”

Also in this episode: AppsFlyer’s take on the clean room phenomenon, ATT enforcement (it’s already starting to happen) and how Kaniel’s experience as a cook in the Israel Defense Forces prepared him to be a tech CEO.

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