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.
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.
Annoyingly, this tracking is switched on by default in iOS 6 — but you can turn it off. Weirdly the option 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 counter-intuitive, admittedly.)
So if you want to stick it to the man this morning, make sure IFAs aren’t tracking your browsing. [Business Insider]
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