Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple is Tracking You

Image from Wikipedia

So the iPhone 5 hit the market last September. It came with a lot of great features that Apple aficionados are happy about. If you’re an iPhone 5 user, did you know that its new operating system, the iOS 6, is equipped with a tracking technology? This allows advertisers to target you and bombard you with ads.

With the past iPhone models, users were safe from these ads. But now with the iPhone 5, advertisers are rejoicing. But there is a glimmer of hope as you can turn the tracking off. Be warned though that this is turned on by default so you have to manually turn it off. It is found in the General>About>Advertising>Limit Ad Tracking section. The default is “OFF” so you must turn this “ON” so that your tracking will be limited. Don’t be confused.

Your phone uses an identifier for advertisers or IFA. It’s a random number that is assigned to you and your iPhone. When you browse an app or surf the Internet, your presence generates an advertisement call. The site you are in, say, a travel app will then pass your IFA to an ad server. The advertisers will then know that you are looking at a specific content or publication and then they will be able to deliver an ad that is customized according to your surfing habits. Since you are looking at a travel app, you might then receive advertisements from travel agencies or travel-related products. IFA is very useful to an advertiser because it allows them to track you until you buy or download a product or an app.

Don’t worry about your privacy. The IFA is an anonymous number. It will not give the advertiser your name and other pertinent information. It just tells advertisers what you are looking at. You can also look at it differently as the advertisements will introduce you to some new products, places and things that you might be interested in.

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