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Privacy: Is this the end of the device “fingerprinting?’

Head’s up if you’re tracking app installs from ads…

Apple plans to release SKAdNetwork 4.0, the latest iteration of their privacy API.

And there’s a good chance it will wipe out device “fingerprinting”—and advertisers’ ability to track app installs—for good.

What’s fingerprinting? It’s the process of collecting device hardware and software parameters—including IP address, OS, model code, etc.—to create a unique and traceable digital identity.

The more parameters, the more unique the identity.

Why fingerprinting matters: Advertisers often use it to attribute app installs, which can be useful if you’re promoting an app and want to know whether your campaigns are actually working.

But, like guacamole, device fingerprints expire fast, and it’s not clear they’re reliable or precise when it comes to attribution anyway.

So… good riddance?

What happens now: The current SKAdNetwork 3.0 relies on fingerprinting to operate. When Apple swaps it out with the new version, fingerprinting may no longer be necessary.

We’ll see.

Of course, the full effects of Apple’s new privacy update remain to be seen, but one thing’s clear: the future of advertising looks like first-party data.