iPhone 5 tracking users - report

2012-10-18 08:01
Apple has quietly switched on user tracking in the latest operating system. (AP)

Apple has quietly switched on user tracking in the latest operating system. (AP)

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Cape Town - While many South Africans wait for the local launch of the iPhone 5, it has emerged that Apple has quietly switched on user tracking in the latest operating system.

In 2011, the California-based company came under fire for tracking users and storing the information in an unencrypted file.

Apple removed the ability, but according to Business Insider report, has subtly included the tracking for advertisers in its latest operating system that drives the iPhone 5.

Each iPhone is assigned a unique number which advertisers can use to see which web pages are being browsed and serve targeted ads to users.

Google's Android operating system also makes use of tracking, but it is off by default.

However, according to the report, the tracking functionality in iOS 6 on by default, and users have to navigate to "General Settings" rather than "Privacy" to switch it off.

Confusingly, switching the iPhone user tracking off requires one to switch on "Limited Ad Tracking", which implies that tracking will still occur.

The growth in mobile smartphone devices has spurred new way for advertisers to get their messages to consumers and several ad networks are dedicated to serving adverts on mobile devices.

Some apps are thinly disguised ad servers and litter devices with spam, while yet others serve ads that target users based on various metrics, including browsing habits.

Networks like LeadBolt, Cauly and Millennial collect personally identifiable information on user behaviour to target specific ads.

The iPhone tracking allows advertisers to track user interaction with content and most users leave default settings on devices are they are.

"The biggest thing we're excited about is that it's on by default, so we expect most people will leave it on," said Mobile Theory CEO Scott Swanson.
 
- News24

Read more on:    google  |  apple  |  iphone  |  e-commerce  |  mobile
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