Thursday, October 18, 2012

iOS6 - Ad Tracking Re-enabled

So it came to my attention that with the release of the iPhone5 and the new iOS6 Apple has quietly re-enabled its tracking feature to pass your information on to advertisers so they can target you through new tracking technology called IFA.

You will remember that Apple did this back with the release of iOS5 which met with enormous public outcry. Apple rescinded this with the ability for the end user to "opt-out". With the iOS6 release they have done it again but hid the opt-out feature in a place you would not think to look.

How it Works:
The IFA or identifier for advertisers assigns a random number to your Apple device and uses that number like a cookie on your computer. So when you look at an app or browse the web it generates an ad call.  The advertiser then takes your IFA and knows you are an iPhone user looking at specific apps or publications and can serve ads targeted to you specifically. For example you are looking at a lot of house websites. The ad server will recognize that you are looking for a house and start serving up house advertisements.

By default this feature is enabled for all iOS6 users and needs to be manually disabled. Fortunately the number is temporary and after the feature is disabled it goes away.

How to Disable Tracking:
So The first part of how they have concealed this is place the feature in General, NOT Privacy as it has been in the past.

Once in General Click About

Scroll all the way to the bottom and Click Advertising

Here is where the second layer of confusion comes in. You look at this and see it is in the Off position and think to yourself that you are good. This is not the case, it needs to be ON to limit ad tracking.  Switch it to ON and close out of Settings

The IFA will expire shortly and be gone for good.

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