TikTok Is Adamant Of Tracking iPhone Users With China Owned Work Around

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Besides Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), which is vehemently campaigning for the pros of personalised ads, Apple’s recent pro-privacy move to disable tracking on iPhone devices has upset many other companies.

Among them are some of China-based big tech firms, including ByteDance and Tencent, which are reportedly planning to sneak past Apple’s privacy measures by developing a tool to continue tracking iPhone users without their consent and serving them with targeted advertisements.

According to a recent media report, the state China Advertising Association has found a new way to identify iPhone users as a response to Apple curbing individualised tracking on its devices. This method, currently in testing, has been termed ‘CAID’ and is being used by several tech companies and advertisers in China at present.


ByteDance, which owns the short-form video app TikTok, in an 11-page guide geared towards app developers, suggested that advertisers and marketers can make use of CAID as a substitute in case an Apple user’s IDFA aka identifier for advertisers is inaccessible.

Subsequently, sources familiar with this development at Tencent and ByteDance also confirmed that both the companies are testing the system as of right now. And that several efforts are in motion to get around Apple’s newly established privacy-centric rules.

When asked about the same to Apple, it said that the company won’t be granting any special exception to this newfound method and declared that apps that disregard the user’s choice to opt-out of tracking will be rejected from its App Store.

However, that being said, three people who are closely tied with the briefings between Apple and developers mentioned that the iPhone maker is likely to be wary of taking any form of strong actions against China’s tech giants even if they clearly violate its terms and conditions provided the country’s government agencies support CAID.

But then again, according to the CAA, the CAID solution is neither meant to oppose Apple’s new privacy policy nor find a way around it. The state-backed organisation also mentioned that they are currently actively communicating with the California, Cupertino based tech giant and that the CAID method is far from being formally implemented.


Another two sources who have are familiar with the issue said that Apple is well aware of CAID’s existence, and so far, it has chosen to ignore its possible implementation.

CAID is only intended to be used by China-based app developers. However, one French gaming company has also been encouraged to test it, two people in the know revealed. They also mentioned that CAID is scheduled to be publicly released within this very week itself, and therefore, more details will surface about the technology soon.

All in all, it is well understood that even though Apple won’t let app developers utilise a user’s IDFA once they choose to opt-out of tracking, there will soon start emerging new technologies aiming to target users with the same efficiency. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.


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