Report: AppLovin SDK re-routed Apple’s SKAdNetwork postbacks to itself

In Apple’s latest mobile operating system for iPhones, the company changed something that impacts advertisers and ad networks. iOS 15 tells advertisers when app install ads worked, where iOS 14.5 told ad networks when they worked.

That might be an annoying change if you’re an ad network. So, according to a number of reports, Applovin adjusted its technology to compensate.

From my story on Forbes:

Mobile advertisers say that ad network AppLovin routed marketing outcome data from an Apple iOS 15 framework to itself, rather than to advertisers themselves. If true and intentional, this would be a violation of trust between Applovin and its customers.

“There have been several reports within the gaming vertical that the AppLovin MAX SDK is overriding and setting by default their own endpoint to catch all iOS 15 SKAN postback copies, which contain very sensitive attribution data,” an anonymous tip sent to industry forum MobileDevMemo says. “This was caught when developers from big game studios reviewed the building process of their iOS apps when using the AppLovin MAX Unity SDK. They noticed that their endpoints were automatically replaced while building their apps. AppLovin set their endpoint with the highest priority, effectively overriding any configuration developers may have set.”

It’s important to note that I talked to AppLovin representatives, and they say that the demo code used was designed for easy of use: automatic configuration. They’ve since updated it to enable manual configuration.

Get the full story here …