Your iPhone Is Secretly Tracking You, Again

Advertisers getting data, though this time, at least, it's anonymous

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2012 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – There's an iOS6 feature you probably haven't heard of that's making some people very happy. Unfortunately, those people are advertisers. The new iPhone OS comes with a new tracking system that clues advertisers in on how you're using the phone, Business Insider reports. Tracking is turned on by default, and the option to turn it off is downright hidden—it's not, as you might expect, in your "privacy" settings, it's in your "general" settings under "about." (The site has a how-to here.)

Users have been enjoying a blissful window of privacy until now, after Apple shut down its old UDID system. But unlike the old system, the new IFA (Identifier For Advertisers) is anonymous and temporary, like a browser cookie. "It's a really simple, elegant solution," gushes one ad exec, saying it gives "a really meaningful inference of behavior. We haven't had access to that information before." Another ad CEO writes that it's "great news for the mobile app advertising industry," particularly because it "addresses privacy concerns."

A customer is silhouetted against the Lenox Mall Apple store icon in Atlanta in this file photo.
A customer is silhouetted against the Lenox Mall Apple store icon in Atlanta in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink)
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