February 25, 2021

Changes to Apple's IDFA. Wait, what’s an IDFA?

Written by nick


Last summer, we found out that there were going to be changes to Apple's IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) and other privacy policies for apps running on iOS. Currently, apps automatically allow access to the device’s IDFA so that advertisers can serve relevant ads. But in an upcoming iOS 14 update, apps will be required to ask users for permission to access IDFA information. What does that mean for you and your iPhone or iPad? Let’s take a closer look.

Changes to Apple's IDFA

What is an IDFA?

Every Apple device comes with an Identifier for Advertisers, or IDFA. This anonymous identifier is unique to your device and lets advertisers serve targeted ads based on usage. It also lets advertisers measure the effectiveness of their mobile ads.

Does an IDFA store personal information?

An IDFA does not contain any personal information such as names, locations, or financial data. It collects anonymous information about ads that a user interacts with, allowing advertisers to provide a more relevant ad experience based on how a device is used.

What are the changes to Apple's IDFA?

In an upcoming iOS 14 update, app developers will be required to ask users for permission to access the information contained in their IDFA. This will give consumers the ability to more easily decide what data their apps have access to. Users who opt out of providing an app access to their IDFA will still see advertisements, but they won’t be targeted to the user’s specific interests.

Why does TextNow need permission to track my IDFA?

TextNow uses the data from your IDFA to serve you relevant advertisements. We rely on advertising to support our phone service and lets us keep calling and texting free for everyone. When Apple implements its updated iOS 14, you will be prompted to choose whether to allow the TextNow app to access your non-sensitive IDFA information. Your ability to use our free calling and texting will not be affected by your choice.

Protecting your data is an important part of online safety. To see what information you are sharing with apps, you can view your privacy controls in iOS settings.