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iOS and MacOS / Chartboost inclusion refused by App Store

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Zappo
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Posted: 25th Oct 2021 11:14 Edited at: 25th Oct 2021 11:18
Hello. The newest data privacy restrictions by Apple are causing a major headache for me with in-app adverts. It doesn't help that the questions they ask aren't clear or answered properly by the advertising network providers, but anyway...

I've implemented Chartboost in my most recent app as I had read that you get a better return than Admob. The new "App Privacy - Data Types" section when publishing an app to the App Store asks about the collection of personal data and tracking. After some research I have told it that "Device ID", "Purchases", "Usage Data/Product Interaction" and "Diagnostics/Performance Data" are used for third-party advertising. I have tried turning "tracking" off for everything but it comes up with an error on the "Diagnostics/Performance Data" section which says "Your app contains NSUserTrackingUsageDescription, indicating that you will request permission to track users".



Can the flag "NSUserTrackingUsageDescription" be turned off somehow?

The Admob command set includes some consent functions but Chartboost does not (except for OverrideConsentChartboost if you want to implement your own request). I don't really want to ask the user for consent if I can get away with it, as it puts a barrier up before they even get to play the game - plus the vast majority of people would just click "no" anyway, so I might as well leave it off and just show non-personalised adverts to everyone.

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Virtual Nomad
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Posted: 25th Oct 2021 15:42 Edited at: 25th Oct 2021 15:44
seems pertinent? https://github.com/TheGameCreators/AGK-Studio/issues/831

and, you're using the most-recent version?
Quote: "orvillian commented on Sep 16
App tracking and advert information is no longer added into the plist as part of the export process in Tier 1 when adverts are disabled. I've done some tests this morning and all looks good. When the build is released please let me know how you get on."
Zappo
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Posted: 25th Oct 2021 23:41
Thanks Virtual Nomad.
Yes - this looks like the same problem although I am trying to do something slightly different. I'm using the most up-to-date version of Studio, only downloaded about 4 days ago.

I have the "Uses Ads" box ticked on export as I'm using Chartboost (for the first time). Paul seems to suggest on that Github page that you can use RequestConsentAdMob() with any of the advert SDKs - including Chartboost to trigger the App Tracking Transparency permission request. I could give that a go but ideally I don't want to request user consent as I'd rather just give them non-personalised ads with no tracking so I might try and edit the Info.plist file to remove the NSUserTrackingUsageDescription row first. I will try that tomorrow <fingers crossed>.
Zappo
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Posted: 26th Oct 2021 11:24
Just a quick follow up to this...

The key NSUserTrackingUsageDescription does not seem to exist in the info.plist file. It may be added dynamically when the "Uses Ads" box is ticked on export. So sadly I cannot remove it to see if that gets past Apple's checks

I have asked Apple if they can turn off the "tracking" purpose for me on the app submission and explained that the inclusion of the "NSUserTrackingUsageDescription" tag is superfluous so can be ignored. I don't hold out much hope but we shall see if they will let it through.
Zappo
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Posted: 27th Oct 2021 17:37
Update: It looks like Apple won't take my word for it that I wasn't tracking users because the "NSUserTrackingUsageDescription" tag is there.

As a last resort, I have now ticked the "tracking" boxes and added the RequestConsentAdMob() command to make the "App Tracking Transparency" consent request when the app starts for the first time. They can change their mind regarding consent by tapping a button on the main menu with the word "consent" written on it.

Apple have still rejected the app so far saying, "you do not use App Tracking Transparency to request the user's permission before tracking their activity" - which is not true. I call RequestConsentAdMob() before even setting the Chartboost ID. I have sent them another message informing them that the request screen is the very first thing that appears when you first run the app, and am awaiting their reply. <sigh>

I just want to add that this isn't AppGameKit's fault. This is a ridiculous Apple policy change which is going to affect anyone who wants to implement adverts in their apps, so be warned.
Zappo
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Posted: 4th Nov 2021 17:30 Edited at: 4th Nov 2021 17:31
Update: I've spoken with Apple on the phone today and now their issue seems to be that the consent request screen isn't the native Apple iOS consent screen. I thought it was as it certainly looks like an Apple screen. Their exact words are:

Quote: "As we discussed, we noticed that your app indicates you collect data but you do not use iOS native App Tracking Transparency to request the user's permission before tracking their activity.
To resolve this issue, it would be appropriate to implement App Tracking Transparency and request permission before collecting data used to track. When you resubmit, indicate in the Review Notes where the permission request is located."


This is the documentation page that they point to for implementing the iOS native permission screen:
https://developer.apple.com/documentation/apptrackingtransparency
Virtual Nomad
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Posted: 9th Nov 2021 20:43 Edited at: 9th Nov 2021 20:45
small update here to pass on that the devs are aware of this issue/thread.

as i understand it, AppGameKit has been utilizing UMP SDK for consent; they will begin addressing this week or next (if they haven't already).
Zappo
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Posted: 18th Nov 2021 20:02
Update: I have finally got my app through the Apple publishing process and it is now available on the App Store. Yay! BUT I did have to make some changes to get it through...

It looks like the Apple privacy rules just won't work properly with the UMP SDK (used by AppGameKit) and Chartboost right now, so I have had to change over to AdMob instead.

AdMob (by Google) is linked to UMP (the Google User Messaging Platform) which is not surprising. So, in order to set up the UMP properly for your app you have to have an AdMob account and add your app to it. Then you can go into the "Privacy & messaging" section and set up all of the dialog info for GDPR (EU & UK), CCPA (California) and IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers) which is the important one to trigger Apple iOS's native App Tracking Transparency alert. This is what Apple look for to pass their super-strict tests.

I hope that helps anyone else who is having similar problems.

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