How to limit advertiser tracking in Apple iOS 6

iPhone5_deviceAnyone remember the iOS UDID privacy issue surrounding 1m leaked UDID data that was in the news recently? Lets refresh what the UDID is and does (or was, as Apple said it would not longer be using this tracking identifier).

The main purpose of the UDID in apps is to track user flow and data > – so if you are interested in downloading the stolen data to see if your UDID has been captured > (scroll a little down the page where you will see six links to choose from). (See Bootnote)

One simple way to check if your UDID (I’ve checked mine and I’m not on the 1m list) has been leaked is to use iTunes – connect your device then:

  • TAP on your device (left column) > TAP on Serial Number – and the UDID will show. Apple is phasing out UDID in iOS 6 (iPhone 5) due to privacy concerns in the US.

You might think that was that on the tracking identifier front. Well you couldn’t be further from the truth! Now iOS 6.0 comes with a new tracking feature which relies on an identifier called the “Identifier for Advertisers”. Apple had more or less killed off identifier tracking in ads, but with iOS 6.0 it is well and truly back on.

If you value your privacy, here is how you “limit” ads from tracking you:

  • Settings > General > About > Advertising > Limit Ad Tracking > Change the setting from “OFF” to “ON”

Right now I’m not sure on what “Limit Ad Tracking” is doing. Maybe Apple can help us?

Safe surfing folks!

Bootnote: Make sure you use for example Google Incognito Mode or a Browser Sandbox when visiting these websites.

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