Apple iOS 6.1 & 7 Reset Advertising Identifier update

iPhone5_deviceEarlier this week Apple released the iOS 6.1 update with 27 security vulnerability updates. This update fixed some 20 remote code execution errors in the WebKit browser engine for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. The update also removed trust for the fake Google digital certificates mistakenly issued by the Turkish certificate authority (“TURKTRUST”).

Further reading:

The new features included within the iOS 6.1 release (which is approximately 70MB in file size):

  • A button to reset the Advertising Identifier
  • LTE support for more telecom carriers
  • Ability to purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (US only)
  • iTunes Match subscribers have the ability to now download individual songs from iCloud

iOS 6.1 also has a button labeled “Reset Advertising Identifier” in Settings > General > About > Advertising – you are probably asking what an earth is this about?

IMPORTANT: I suggest you read my post here before reading on: How to limit advertiser tracking in Apple iOS 6.0

Apple dropped the UDID identifier for privacy reasons late last year (see link above). UDID was used for user tracking and for advertising and collected iOS device specific hardware data and the user by extension.

The UDID was then replaced by the Advertising Identifier which does not collect the above information and is not permanent. This identifier was by default allowed to track users, but that changed with the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ feature in 6.0. iOS 6.1 however allows users to have more control with the ad identifier. In effect this means, resetting the Advertiser Identifier is akin to deleting your browser’s ad tracking cookies.

At the technical level I’m still unsure as to what the “Limit Ad Tracking” is doing. Maybe Apple can help us?

Safe surfing folks!

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