Apple introduced a couple of new things for advertisers in its upcoming iPhone operating system update, iOS 7.
First, it forced more advertisers to use its iPhone tracking system, IDFA (sometimes called IFA), which stands for ID for Advertisers.
Second, it rearranged the settings on your iPhone so that it’s actually easier to switch off the tracking if you don’t want advertisers to get your personal data.
Most people don’t even know their iPhones track what they do and send that data to advertisers. And Apple makes the iPhone and iOS 7 with tracking in a default “on” position.
If you want to switch it off, here’s what you have to do.
Go to the settings app on your iPhone. Now tap on the section labelled “Privacy.” (This is actually a big change for Apple. In iOS 6, the tracking options were not under “Privacy,” they were under “General” — where most people were unlikely to see them.)
Next tap on the section labelled “Advertising.”
This brings up the “Limit Ad Tracking” option. Move the slider button to “on.” Yes, it’s confusing: To switch ad tracking off, you have to move the “Limit Ad Tracking” to on. Advertisers love this counterintuitive mechanism because most people either don’t touch it — in which case tracking is on by default — or they get the on/off decision wrong, leaving the tracking on when they’ve switched it to off.
Here’s a visual walk-through.
1. Go to Settings and hit “Privacy”:
2. Next tap on “Advertising”:
3. Finally, switch “Limit Ad Tracking” to the “on” position:
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