Business Insider is reporting that Apple's launch of iOS 6 brings with it not just Passbook and bad maps, but a new means of tracking user activity, too. That's right; your iPhone tracks your every activity by default. Here's how to stop it.
The report suggests that Apple has started tracking users again so advertisers can target them, using a new technology called "identifier for advertisers " (IFA). A random, anonymous number assigned to a user and their device, IFAs are temporary and can be blocked like cookies.
The number is used to pass specific adds to apps and web pages when you use your phone, and can be used by companies to identify when a user is looking at their ad and when they are "converted" and make a purchase. While IFAs don't identify you personally, they do provide a bunch of data about your browsing and purchasing habits.
While it's not as egregious as the location tracking that Apple dabbled in with the iPhone 4S, it's still a fairly aggressive violation of privacy—especially for an opt-out feature. But there's a quick fix.
Weirdly, the option to deactivate the tracking doesn't appear under the "Privacy" setting. Instead, go to "General," then "About," and then navigate to the "Advertising" section. From there, you need to to turn "Limit Ad Tracking" on. (That's a little counterintuitive, admittedly.)
So if you want to stick it to the man this morning—and keep your browsing and app use private—make sure IFAs aren't tracking your every move. [Business Insider]
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