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IFA, Apple's iPhone Tracking In iOS 6

Stashed in: iPhone!, NOT GOOD

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❝ Previously, Apple had all but disabled tracking of iPhone users by advertisers when it stopped app developers from utilizing Apple mobile device data via UDID, the unique, permanent, non-deletable serial number that previously identified every Apple device.

For the last few months, iPhone users have enjoyed an unusual environment in which advertisers have been largely unable to track and target them in any meaningful way.

In iOS 6, however, tracking is most definitely back on, and it's more effective than ever, multiple mobile advertising executives familiar with IFA tell us. (Note that Apple doesn't mention IFA in its iOS 6 launch page). ❞

Thou shalt be TRACKED



  • iOS 6 comes in a default "tracking on" position. You have to affirmatively switch it off if you do not want advertisers to see what you're up to.
  • The tracking control in iPhone's settings is NOT contained where you might expect it, under the "Privacy" menu. Instead, it's found under "General," then "About," and then the "Advertising" section of the Settings menu.
  • The tracking control is titled "Limit Ad Tracking," and must be turned to ON, not OFF, in order to work. That's slightly confusing — "ON" means ads are off! — so a large number of people will likely get this wrong.

This is not good.

On means off?

My brain hurts just thinking about it.

German-made cars also have this same user experience flaw, where you "turn on the off button" for certain features. Like the "Disabled AC" lights up. Aren't car consoles the OG UX? Shouldn't they have figured out this shi-stuff yet?

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