Apple location tracking raises privacy ire; iAd opt-out unearthed

Jun 22, 2010
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An update to Apple's privacy policy has prompted uproar, as the Cupertino company adds in location-tracking systems that will allow the company - and their "partners and licensees" - to "collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device."  While the new Location Services settings page allows for selective control over which apps use geographical data, it's unclear whether Apple are still collating it for their own purposes.  One such purpose is Apple's new iAd program, which has an opt-out policy of its own the details of which are buried in a lengthy privacy policy.

iLounge dug through that document and pulled out the relevant instructions, which you can read below.  In short, however, users have to go to http://oo.apple.com/ on their device and make the changes there; that will result in "less relevant" adverts being shown.

Apple privacy policy update:

To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe “Find My iPhone” feature, require your personal information for the feature to work.

Apple iAd opt-out:

Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device, you can opt out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the content on a web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. This opt-out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks.


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