Thursday, September 20, 2012

iOS6 - Limit Ad Tracking

I hate ads. I hate them online. I hate them on my windshield when I get back to my car after parking downtown. And I especially hate them on my mobile devices - an environment I used to feel safe. 

After updating to iOS6, I found a new "Advertising" category buried in my Settings > General > About menu. The next screen presents a switch that allows you toggle a feature called Limit Ad Tracking. 

So does that mean Apple is tracking my usage to target ads directly to me? If so, I know it's PROBABLY harmless, but still...I'm uncomfortable, dog. On the bottom of screen, there's a "Learn more" link, giving the following explanation: 
iOS 6 introduces the Advertising Identifier, a non-permanent, non-personal, device identifier, that advertising networks will use to give you more control over advertisers’ ability to use tracking methods. If you choose to limit ad tracking, advertising networks using the Advertising Identifier may no longer gather information to serve you targeted ads. In the future all advertising networks will be required to use the Advertising Identifier. However, until advertising networks transition to using the Advertising Identifier you may still receive targeted ads from other networks.
I found an  article on the advantages of using this new Advertising Identifier as opposed to the device's UDID. Interesting reading, and I applaud Apple for creating this new construct to allow advertisers to sell stuff, yet still allow users to maintain SOME privacy...but I'm still not feelin it lol. Until I learn what all parameters are included this identifier, I'm content with regular ass, un-tailored ads. So I turned it off. Here's how:

One of the reasons I [generally] prefer iOS to Android is because I KNOW that Google is in the business of  advertising. I understand and accept it. That's how they make money. I'm fine with it. But I just hope my phones and tablets don't turn into advertising machines; that's what my television is for.

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