Apple's limits on ad tracking and what they mean for us

Apple has recently taken steps to stop developers tracking users via unique device identifies (UDID), and in the place provided new Advertising ID (AID) and Identifiers for Vendors (IDFV), and a way to limit their ability to track us. But... what does that all mean? Our own Nick Arnott wrote up an excellent overview for his day job, Double Encore:

Apple’s move away from UDIDs is a good thing. The trouble so far is that a lot of people seem confused about what exactly it means for users. Apple has been gradually distancing developers from using UDIDs and pushing them toward a solution that is more privacy friendly. In the meantime, it’s important for users to understand that turning on “Limit Ad Tracking” may only have a minimal impact for now and is in no way a guarantee that advertisers won’t be tracking them.

Nick, as always, delves into the details but explains them in a way that makes sense to organic lifeforms. Go read it, then let us know -- how concerned are you about ad tracking?

Source: Double Encore

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • You're on the internet, if you think anything you do on the web is remotely private think again. I for one would rather see ads that pertain to my interests than just random ads placed all over the place. It's not like these companies are going to find where you live, kick your door down, and force you to click or buy from them. It's time to put away the tin foil and enjoy the net, not be scared if it. There is ways option 2: unplug and revert to paper planners, mail, and literature. Just my $0.02
  • Well said. One way or another, once you put your information on the web, someone somewhere has seen it and/or maybe sell it to someone else.
  • I think anything to help is always a good move in the right direction. I'm glad to see someone looking out for the consumer.
  • I want AdBlock on my iPhone. Like on Safari and Firefox on my pc. No visible advertisements on the web sites/pages I view. I still believe it should be illegal for anybody, and every company, to clutter "MY" devices with unwanted and unsolicited advertisements. Period.
  • What an odd comment. If YOUR device is going to someone ELSE'S website I don't see why you wouldn't see what they put on their website... like ads. Seems solicited at that point since you went there. Maybe I'm missing your point and there are other ads I didn't think of. I dunno. That said, it would be nice to have an option for ad blocking but I think that kind of option will be Android or jailbreak only.
  • @stephen 007:
    If you use Safari or Firefox on you computer, download the free AdBlock extension, then start visiting some of your familiar web sites. You'll notice an immediate difference.
    As far as on iOS I think you're correct. It would, it seems, have to be jail broken in order to be possible. Mine is not so can't comment with certainty. But that would be great, even block out the ads from apps that show them. (A pet peeve of mine) I just don't have need or time for ads intruding into my devices and life. Dreadful.