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Apple's iAds allows users to opt out of data collection

post #1 of 48
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Apple has launched an official page that allows iOS device users to opt out of personal data collection, such as information regarding downloads and purchases, for its iAds mobile advertising service.

Users can visit oo.apple.com on any device running iOS 4 and Apple will allow the user to opt out of data collection for iAds. Users will receive the message "You have successfully opted out."

In a new support document, Apple said that users who opt out may see the same ads as before, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on their interests. Ads can also be related to the content in an application, or any other non-personal information.

"Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns," the company said.

In addition, this week the company added a new section to its customer privacy policy, entitled "Location-Based Services." Users must agree to the new terms and conditions before they can download anything from iTunes or the App Store.

"Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device," the addition reads. "This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide important location-based products and services."

The changes follow a move from earlier this month, in which Apple decided to allow third-party agencies to collect user data with their consent. Modifying section 3.3.9 of its iOS developer agreement, Apple said that applications "may not collect, use or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent."

The new developer agreement also states that information can only be provided to "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads." That excludes the largest mobile ad network, AdMob, because it was acquired by Google, the maker of the Android mobile operating system.

Apple has high hopes for its iAd network, projecting that it will eat up half the mobile ad market in the second half of 2010. Apple plans to use iAd as a program to incentivize App Store development, and does not expect to turn a great profit from its new advertising business, made possible due to the purchase of Quattro Wireless for $275 million.

Apple's iAd service is set to launch on July 1. This week, the first applications compatible with the iAd network were made available for download in the App Store. They require a device running iOS 4.
post #2 of 48
Nice. Easy to remember too: o(pt)o(ut).apple.com

Google's opt out is practically impossible to find.
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post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Google's opt out is practically impossible to find.

Can you actually opt out of Google?? I didn't know.... How do you find it??
Thanks a lot


Yes, definitively a nice option to have...
post #4 of 48
Have tried this twice now and each time it says that my (3GS) device is not running iOS4. It is. I guess I'll keep trying.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Have tried this twice now and each time it says that my (3GS) device is not running iOS4. It is. I guess I'll keep trying.

You are not alone, I have the same problem with my 3GS.
post #6 of 48
Same problem here with my 3G. Site says my device is not runnign iOS4. It is.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Can you actually opt out of Google?? I didn't know.... How do you find it??
Thanks a lot


Yes, definitively a nice option to have...


I don't think Google would like it if everyone opt'd out. They are so tied to advertising.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Have tried this twice now and each time it says that my (3GS) device is not running iOS4. It is. I guess I'll keep trying.

Yes, I keep getting "Unsuccessful Opt Out" on my updated 2G iPod Touch, with a claim that I'm not running iOS 4. I tried a full power-off/power-on cycle, but no help.

I note that the cited support document says that if it fails, to try again in a few hours ... maybe they said that for a reason.

Paul
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Have tried this twice now and each time it says that my (3GS) device is not running iOS4. It is. I guess I'll keep trying.

It's possible that it's just not working yet because iAds hasn't gone live yet, but they need to fix this yesterday.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by plus View Post

Yes, I keep getting "Unsuccessful Opt Out" on my updated 2G iPod Touch, with a claim that I'm not running iOS 4. I tried a full power-off/power-on cycle, but no help.

I note that the cited support document says that if it fails, to try again in a few hours ... maybe they said that for a reason.

Paul

Same thing with my 3G iPod Touch....
post #11 of 48
No opt out for location data? That sucks.

Not that different from Android after all. At least Google only collects location data only when you actually use a service requiring location data (Maps for example).

Here's their policy and the links to opt-out for anybody who's interested:

http://www.android.com/privacy.html
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

No opt out for location data? That sucks.

What? This entire news article is about that.
post #13 of 48
Why is it a URL hidden in the terms of use agreement instead of a switch in iPhone system preferences? One of the reasons people think Google is so evil is all the tracking of people they do for advertising reasons. One of the (previously) good things about Apple is that they didn't do this.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Why is it a URL hidden in the terms of use agreement instead of a switch in iPhone system preferences? One of the reasons people think Google is so evil is all the tracking of people they do for advertising reasons. One of the (previously) good things about Apple is that they didn't do this.

ROTFLMAO. So you're criticizing Apple because they make you go to a simple web site to opt out, yet not a word about Google - who doesn't let you opt out no matter how many hoops you jump through.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

ROTFLMAO. So you're criticizing Apple because they make you go to a simple web site to opt out, yet not a word about Google - who doesn't let you opt out no matter how many hoops you jump through.

Huh? I specifically mentioned that Google is regarded as "evil" for these practices.
post #16 of 48
The way I see it, If i have to look at ads either way I'd rather stay op'ed in and at least see ads that may be interesting.
post #17 of 48
I wonder if opting out of the iAds data collection will also prevent them from collecting the device and location data. The iAds opt out wording doesn't seem to cover the Location-Based Services collection.

I trusted Hiro when he said Apple would never collect this type of info. Said it was far to big brother for them to do, with or without consent, and would be a violation of their own privacy policy. Guess he didn't know what he was talking about.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rg_spb View Post

The way I see it, If i have to look at ads either way I'd rather stay op'ed in and at least see ads that may be interesting.

Yeah, that's my take on this too. At least I'll see what it's like for a while. Can always change my mind later.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by exscape View Post

What? This entire news article is about that.

It says that location based data is collected anonymously - no personal info sent - you may consider your location to be personal - but I think what they are getting at is that location based data where the app requests location anonymously in order to do things such as list local sea food restaurants is not considered to be divulging personal information - whereas an app keeping track of where your phone specifically is located every time you ask for restaurant information to visit a site with restaurant reviews and then reports your average daily views of a given item and makes adjustments to the ads presented specifically to YOU based on YOUR history - could be seen as private information - especially if things like your phone number and or email address are also collected.

In other words there is a distinction made between data that cannot be used to identify you individually and data that can be used to identify a specific individual.

To those getting error on the opt out page - perhaps the opt out function will not be available until the July 1 go live date of the iAds. Or perhaps they just didn't expect folks to visit the site so soon and while nice to have it announced ahead of time - they just weren't ready with the backend process and it will be up and running sometime before July 1.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

No opt out for location data? That sucks.

Not that different from Android after all. At least Google only collects location data only when you actually use a service requiring location data (Maps for example).

Here's their policy and the links to opt-out for anybody who's interested:

http://www.android.com/privacy.html

can't you just turn off Location Services??
post #21 of 48
I'll opt in. Not too worried about Apple's fair use of this limited data. And opting in will mean I get ads that are more relevant to my interests.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

Same thing with my 3G iPod Touch....

That's their point. You can opt-out in theory but cannot in reality.
post #23 of 48
Same with me, doesn't work on my iPod touch or my 3GS
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Can you actually opt out of Google?? I didn't know.... How do you find it??
Thanks a lot


Yes, definitively a nice option to have...

Yes, this is an Ars Technica article about it, although I can't find the one that I used before that actually let you remove all Google tracking with one click.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...f-bad-guys.ars

Also, for all those trying to opt-out of iAds now, I am fairly certain the link won't actually work until iAds launch on July 1st. Obviously if they aren't currently tracking you, how can they stop?
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GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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post #25 of 48
That's not 'obvious' at all. I think it's an error on their part.

They clearly could build a database, add people to it, and then opt them out on July 1st.

If they meant it to not work until July 1st, then they wouldn't have told us about the website until July 1st.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by fartheststar View Post

That's not 'obvious' at all. I think it's an error on their part.

They clearly could build a database, add people to it, and then opt them out on July 1st.

If they meant it to not work until July 1st, then they wouldn't have told us about the website until July 1st.

Your point is sensible, but not probable. The reason I posted above seems to be one of only two logical answers, those being 1) website posted early for notice, but not yet active for use and 2) it's just broke. Apple posted the iPad battery replacement guide weeks before shipping, if I remember correctly, and there was no way anyone could use it yet. I also don't believe Apple would promote something that is so obviously broken that a simple check from any compatible device would reveal it. These two facts lead me to believe option 1 is the correct one.
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GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bretsky84 View Post

Same with me, doesn't work on my iPod touch or my 3GS

Ditto. Very disappointing. Apple is toeing a very dangerous line by managing all of the data, especially considering how hypocritical of an advertising policy that they have (we can do everything, but you cannot... Google). For a company as "with it" as Apple, I would have hoped that opting IN was the requirement. One could easily argue that we are opting in by buying iPhones, but the clear counter-argument to that is that I owned an iPhone before iAds were released, and I am not leaving my device security hole laden (like the unfortunate iPhone 2G, and iPod touch 1st gens [like mine]) as Apple will most likely publish the security vulnerabilities--as it already has--and not patch them for older models. This is not the place for the rant that I was about to get into, but that is good enough reason for everyone to upgrade to iOS 4 that can.

I have no love for Google, at all, but the idea that Apple is somehow doing everyone a solid by blocking them, but not themselves, from aggregating all sorts of detailed information about users is laughable. Apple is quite close to returning to its late Steve era, and collapsing in on itself. Even my mother is afraid of the business practices of Apple, and that kind of press is very bad news for the Apple brand moving forward.

I use the best products from not necessarily the best companies. I use GMail, and I don't trust Google, and I own a MBP Core-i5, and iPhone 3GS and I don't trust Apple. Both companies give good reason to distrust them. How silly is it that the STILL SOLD iPod touch 8 GB does not support all of iOS 4 (multitasking OR backgrounds). I am now the proud owner of one, and cannot really be much more disappointed given that I got it less than a month ago (to be fair, I knew it was going to happen, but it was free).

If Apple keeps compounding these issues, then I cannot continue to buy their products, even if the hardware is solid--other companies are finally catching up (now, if only they'd get US based support, which is why I bought the MBP). They have been pretty shady lately.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rg_spb View Post

The way I see it, If i have to look at ads either way I'd rather stay op'ed in and at least see ads that may be interesting.

You shouldn't have to look at ads if you don't want to. There should be ad-blocking software available. And there should definitely be a way to opt out of any data collection, including location services. And the opt-out should be in a preferences pane, not a website that you have to find buried in the terms of use

Any app that has ads in it should declare it very clearly in the app store, and if it collects any data, including locations, it should state that also. And there must be an option to block all data collection, including location.

I think Congress, the FTC or the FCC should step in and set privacy rules, since Apple and Google won't do it. And yes, Google is much worse than Apple, but Apple seems to be moving in that direction.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

You shouldn't have to look at ads if you don't want to. There should be ad-blocking software available. And there should definitely be a way to opt out of any data collection, including location services. And the opt-out should be in a preferences pane, not a website that you have to find buried in the terms of use

There should also be cake. Chocolate, and lots of it.
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Also, for all those trying to opt-out of iAds now, I am fairly certain the link won't actually work until iAds launch on July 1st. Obviously if they aren't currently tracking you, how can they stop?

Because the website is not set up with the purpose to stop tracking you. It's to opt out of an existing service. iAds may not be running real ads, but it is running nonetheless.

Honestly, it bothers me more that the site exists and doesn't work, then had it not existed at all. If the server failed to respond, that would represent a server load issue. It rather immediately responds back that I am not running an iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.

For a company known for not announcing things until they are actually done, this is pretty stunning, especially since it shows how little they care about allowing people to opt out of an incredibly hypocritical system.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickypg View Post

Ditto. Very disappointing. Apple is toeing a very dangerous line by managing all of the data, especially considering how hypocritical of an advertising policy that they have (we can do everything, but you cannot... Google). For a company as "with it" as Apple, I would have hoped that opting IN was the requirement. One could easily argue that we are opting in by buying iPhones, but the clear counter-argument to that is that I owned an iPhone before iAds were released, and I am not leaving my device security hole laden (like the unfortunate iPhone 2G, and iPod touch 1st gens [like mine]) as Apple will most likely publish the security vulnerabilities--as it already has--and not patch them for older models. This is not the place for the rant that I was about to get into, but that is good enough reason for everyone to upgrade to iOS 4 that can.

I have no love for Google, at all, but the idea that Apple is somehow doing everyone a solid by blocking them, but not themselves, from aggregating all sorts of detailed information about users is laughable. Apple is quite close to returning to its late Steve era, and collapsing in on itself. Even my mother is afraid of the business practices of Apple, and that kind of press is very bad news for the Apple brand moving forward.

I use the best products from not necessarily the best companies. I use GMail, and I don't trust Google, and I own a MBP Core-i5, and iPhone 3GS and I don't trust Apple. Both companies give good reason to distrust them. How silly is it that the STILL SOLD iPod touch 8 GB does not support all of iOS 4 (multitasking OR backgrounds). I am now the proud owner of one, and cannot really be much more disappointed given that I got it less than a month ago (to be fair, I knew it was going to happen, but it was free).

If Apple keeps compounding these issues, then I cannot continue to buy their products, even if the hardware is solid--other companies are finally catching up (now, if only they'd get US based support, which is why I bought the MBP). They have been pretty shady lately.

Not sure where you're going with this, except maybe "Apple sucks cuz they aren't giving everyone one the freedom I want them to have."

Even your mother. Wow.

So let's make some adjustments here in your logic shall we? The statement above you crammed in Apple's mouth was "we can do everything, but you cannot... Google" when in fact the reality was "Google, as a competitor, you cannnot come into our platform and services and farm as much information as you like to gain a competitive edge on us or use personal information gained from it for your own gain." See the difference? Apple never came into this market with the mistaken concept that they had to be all things to all people, nor that it was all about freedom, and puppies, and sharing, and letting other people steal your IP and data and shake your head in an amused and befuddled way as they do it. but let's take this further into reality. They are not preventing 3rd party ad companies to harvest user data in the system, only those that feed directly into a competitor - for example, AdMob who are wholly owned by Google, which produces the Android OS and spec with their partners for the Android phone competition to the iPhone.

If, as was stated (and if you had paid the least bit of attention you'd know this) in the release keynote, Apple is driving an ad platform to benefit developers - by providing them a revenue source to support free games and apps on the platform (and make a bit on the side for themselves too), why do you struggle with that benefit? You plant bits of your information out on the internet, with your local government (talk about security vulnerabilities!) and with your utility suppliers day in and day out, all of whom have security issues, and yet you have issues with Apple stating rather baldly what they will and will not do with the information you provide them.

There is no correlation between now, and your "late Steve era" reference. If you don't like what they do, buy a different product. Your iPod Touch 8GB is still a fully functional device in the same way my 1st gen iPhone is still a functional (and enjoyable) device. I don't need the latest-greatest to be satisifed with the device - but your experience may be different. As a consumer you have all the choice in the world - no one is twisting your arm to buy Apple devices - practice the ultimate freedom and buy from a corporate entity that practices the level of honesty and integrity you desire. Assuming you can find one. Hope springs eternal, but commonsense requires practice.

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickypg View Post

Honestly, it bothers me more that the site exists and doesn't work, then had it not existed at all. If the server failed to respond, that would represent a server load issue. It rather immediately responds back that I am not running an iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.

For a company known for not announcing things until they are actually done, this is pretty stunning, especially since it shows how little they care about allowing people to opt out of an incredibly hypocritical system.

Great post and is a more elegant way of saying what I was to say. Thank you.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by emulator View Post

That's their point. You can opt-out in theory but cannot in reality.

Just tried again and it worked..
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

You shouldn't have to look at ads if you don't want to. There should be ad-blocking software available. And there should definitely be a way to opt out of any data collection, including location services. And the opt-out should be in a preferences pane, not a website that you have to find buried in the terms of use

Any app that has ads in it should declare it very clearly in the app store, and if it collects any data, including locations, it should state that also. And there must be an option to block all data collection, including location.

I think Congress, the FTC or the FCC should step in and set privacy rules, since Apple and Google won't do it. And yes, Google is much worse than Apple, but Apple seems to be moving in that direction.

elroth, this is blindingly simple. There will be ad links in free apps, tied to iAd services. YOU have a CHOICE as to whether you click on them or NOT. If not, you go blythely on your way enjoying freely the free app and not supporting the dev with anything other than your fuzzy good wishes for an enjoyable app. Which will warm and fill them very well indeed, no doubt. However, if you DO click on the iAd link, it pauses the app, open a new window, delivers the ad content, and then goes away again. In fact you can at any point, according to Apple, simply close the ad window and continue on as if nothing had happened. The cool thing is, when you view the ad, it generates a view hit, which translates into ad revenue (paid by the group of advertisers being built by Apple) for the person who developed the free app you are enjoying. As a result, the dev gains the wherewithal to be warmed and filled and perhaps able to develop even more fun, free apps for you to enjoy.

But it is all about you CHOOSING what you do, whether to click on the ad link or not, whether to watch the ad or not, whether to support the dev with an ad hit or not. That's it man. It's freedom baby - its a groovy thing!
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has launched an official page that allows iOS device users to opt out of personal data collection, such as information regarding downloads and purchases, for its iAds mobile advertising service.

Users can visit oo.apple.com on any device running iOS 4 and Apple will allow the user to opt out of data collection for iAds. Users will receive the message "You have successfully opted out."


This is good.

What would have been better is if you were given the opt-out choice the first time an iAd rears its head on your device.

What may have been even better for users of the device would be if the default was privacy, and if you had to visit some obscure webpage to change it.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

ROTFLMAO. So you're criticizing Apple because they make you go to a simple web site to opt out, yet not a word about Google - who doesn't let you opt out no matter how many hoops you jump through.

Is it always "us versus them"?
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I'll opt in. Not too worried about Apple's fair use of this limited data. And opting in will mean I get ads that are more relevant to my interests.

Do you use Google services extensively?
post #38 of 48
I don't understand why people are so upset over this. If anything, it just seems like the site isn't ready yet. Do they actually think Apple's going to leave it as it is? Is it such a bad thing for Apple not to have everything ready immediately but to actually have to spend time to develop certain services? I guess they are the only company in all history who actually needs to spend time to do stuff.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qualia View Post

I don't understand why people are so upset over this. If anything, it just seems like the site isn't ready yet. Do they actually think Apple's going to leave it as it is? Is it such a bad thing for Apple not to have everything ready immediately but to actually have to spend time to develop certain services? I guess they are the only company in all history who actually needs to spend time to do stuff.

I'm not UPSET that this isn't working yet, it's just seems a little embarrassing for Apple that this site is out there and it is not working properly. But I read the article again, and it isn't like Apple is advertising this site on their main site. It seems this all came from a support document that AppleInsider found. So maybe Apple was publishing their support document, thinking not too many people would even see it for a while.
post #40 of 48
iAd is not even live yet.

won't be surprised that page is only a placeholder for now.
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