Apple adds new "Limit Ad Tracking" feature to iOS 6

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has added a new privacy setting in iOS 6 that enables users to block ad tracking that advertising networks use to deliver relevant ads across apps.

The new feature, oddly hidden under the About settings rather than Privacy, presents a single option to enable "Limit Ad Tracking," a setting that is left off by default.

In contrast, Apple has a Safari Privacy preference that by default blocks cookies "from third parties and advertisers," a setting that Google bypassed to collect data across the pages a user visited in order to serve more relevant ads, earning it a $22.5 million slap on the wrist it paid without admitting any wrongdoing.



On iOS, Apple's more conservative approach to blocking ad tracking may relate to the fact that a large number of apps rely upon ad networks for monetization, and that Apple itself has a horse in the race with its own iAd program.

At the same time, Apple was not happy to see third party developers and ad networks using iOS users' UUID (universally unique device identifiers) to perform sophisticated tracking of individual devices (web cookies, unlike UUIDs, can't track a specific computer, and can be deleted by the user), particularly when they tracked UUIDs down inside Apple's headquarters to spy out new models.

That led to the company deprecating the ability of third party developers to obtain the UUID of the devices they ran on in iOS 5. In iOS 6, Apple is now substituting what it refers to as an "Advertising Identifier," which users can now selectively disable.



In a linked "about" page (depicted above), Apple explains, "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."

It adds, "if you choose to limit ad tracking, advertising networks using the Advertising Identifier will 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."

Apple has already set up an opt-out path for users who didn't want to be tracked through the company's own iAd program, but the new Advertising Identifier makes it easier for iOS users to block any ad network from maintaining a record of their preferences and behaviors, something that advertising networks use to target ad placement and therefore provide more valuable (and therefore more expensive) messaging placement to their advertising clients.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    Awesome. This tracking shit needs to be made illegal too.
  • Reply 2 of 69


    And now Apple is drying up the ad revenue of Google. Introducing the Android OS is going to be the costliest decision Google has ever made; rivaling their money dump on Motorola.

  • Reply 3 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ImperialForces View Post



    Awesome. This tracking shit needs to be made illegal too.


     


    I agree. It's almost as annoying as all the Samsung ads on AppleInsider's pages.

  • Reply 4 of 69
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Just give me a subscription-based ad blocker in mobile Safari or the ability to set a different default system browser, that's all I ask.
  • Reply 5 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     


    I agree. It's almost as annoying as all the Samsung ads on AppleInsider's pages.



     


    I strongly disagree. Look how many people downloaded Chrome for iOS. A majority of users will download the new Google maps and new YouTube from the app store. Apple previously restricted ads in YouTube and Google maps because it was a preloaded app. Now Google is free to so whatever they want with ads. This will be a huge jump in revenue for Google. Google maps and YouTube are far too ubiquitous in so many iOS users lives. Just wait and see Google Maps and YouTube hold the top download spot for months on the app store.

  • Reply 6 of 69


    Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

    A majority of users will download the new Google maps and new YouTube from the app store. 




    What makes you think that? YouTube I can see… until people start running into unskippable pre-video ads and unremovable popup during-video ads. But not Maps. 

  • Reply 7 of 69


    If you hate Google Android and how they copied Apple iOS, show it by turning this feature on. Google revenue from iOS suddenly vanishes.

  • Reply 8 of 69
    If you hate Google Android and how they copied Apple iOS, show it by turning this feature on. Google revenue from iOS suddenly vanishes.

    what's copied?
  • Reply 9 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




    What makes you think that? YouTube I can see… until people start running into unskippable pre-video ads and unremovable popup during-video ads. But not Maps. 



    the same reason that keeps home users using XP (they won't pay for windows) instead of an awesome new ubuntu. they KNOW it.

  • Reply 10 of 69
    would you guys prefer a pay per site type of internet?

    Like Appleinsider for 19.99 a year?
  • Reply 11 of 69


    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

    the same reason that keeps home users using XP (they won't pay for windows) instead of an awesome new ubuntu. they KNOW it.


     


    No, that's because Ubuntu just sucks and is nowhere near usable. People won't download something if there's a better alternative already on the phone. 


     


    This feature? Needs to be on by default.






    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

    would you guys prefer a pay per site type of internet?

    Like Appleinsider for 19.99 a year?


     



    Dear heavens, you're just making up arguments, aren't you?



    We're fine with ads in the right places. WE DON'T WANT TO BE TRACKED.

  • Reply 12 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post


     


    I strongly disagree. Look how many people downloaded Chrome for iOS. A majority of users will download the new Google maps and new YouTube from the app store. Apple previously restricted ads in YouTube and Google maps because it was a preloaded app. Now Google is free to so whatever they want with ads. This will be a huge jump in revenue for Google. Google maps and YouTube are far too ubiquitous in so many iOS users lives. Just wait and see Google Maps and YouTube hold the top download spot for months on the app store.



     


    Well hopefully this new ad tracking block will stop ads through all iOS ads. When Google put unskipable ads within videos, smart people who don't want ads will go somewhere else.

  • Reply 13 of 69
    Bitch please, fuck ads. They should be illegal.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    can someone point out to me the dangers and/or negatives of ad tracking?
  • Reply 15 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post



    would you guys prefer a pay per site type of internet?

    Like Appleinsider for 19.99 a year?


     


    hahahaha 19.95 for AI rotflmao


     


    Maybe if good sites were pay sites they'd have to clean up their editing and relevant content. I'd rather pay for value content.

  • Reply 16 of 69
    ljocampo wrote: »
    hahahaha 19.95 for AI rotflmao

    Maybe if good sites were pay sites they'd have to clean up their editing and relevant content. I'd rather pay for value content.

    I'd rather keep a free and open internet where ads are unobtrusive so the companies win, the indie sites stay up, websites can offer services to the most number of people without the need for a checkout, and pay sites can exist where they find their place.

    The only reason so many of you are silently advocating a pay per site internet is because one of the largest ad agencies in the world happens to build a few products that compete with Apple products.

    and also 19.99 a year is less than $2 a month...THAT'S A STEAL!!!
  • Reply 17 of 69
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member


    How long before Google bypasses this setting.

  • Reply 18 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post





    what's copied?


     


    How about we start with a touch screen interface? Google Android was basically a Blackberry clone until Eric Schmidt got his paws on the iPhone since he was an Apple board member at the time. Lo and behold, Google changes direction of the Android platform completely after this and develops a touch interface like iOS. Samsung just got hammered because of this. HTC is next. Because Google gives away Android for free, Apple wouldn't have gotten much if they went after Google first. After all the Android phone makers have ben sued by Apple, they'll sue Google last. Adding this ad-block feature is just another blow to Google's revenue stream which probably would never have happened if Google didn't copy iOS with Android.

  • Reply 19 of 69

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post



    ... The only reason so many of you are silently advocating a pay per site internet is because one of the largest ad agencies in the world happens to build a few products that compete with Apple products. ...


     


    You've totally lost it. Your post is contrary to reality on so many levels that it's sad.

  • Reply 20 of 69
    How about we start with a touch screen interface? Google Android was basically a Blackberry clone until Eric Schmidt got his paws on the iPhone since he was an Apple board member at the time. Lo and behold, Google changes direction of the Android platform completely after this and develops a touch interface like iOS. Samsung just got hammered because of this. HTC is next. Because Google gives away Android for free, Apple wouldn't have gotten much if they went after Google first. After all the Android phone makers have ben sued by Apple, they'll sue Google last. Adding this ad-block feature is just another blow to Google's revenue stream which probably would never have happened if Google didn't copy iOS with Android.

    1) Apple doesn't own the idea of a touchscreen interface, so you lose that point (sidenote: when Apple mentions Schmidt stole anything or did some crazy board shit then bring it up otherwise you sound like a crazy conspiracy nut - a company realizing the future of computing and adapting it's model before release is not underhanded, it's fucking genius) Samsung got slammed because of it's outright copying in Touchwhiz, not because it used Android. HTC is being targeted for features that are rather stupid to anyone who doesn't gargle Apples...

    2...still waiting for you to tell me what Android copied from iOS...aside from the general idea of a touch-based OS which is the stupidest accusation of copying that I could think of.
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