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Targeted ads following you on your iPhone? So limit them


Apple has built its reputation on helping you protect your privacy, and that includes its own advertising network.

Scar Gutiérrez / CNET

Earlier this week Facebook warned users and its business partners in Apple’s next version of. to change iOS Will have an impact on its Audience Network advertising platform. When iOS 14 comes out this fall, iPhone ($ 599 at Apple) Users need to sign up for targeted advertising. It’s not hard to assume that users aren’t eager to sign up and allow Facebook or other advertisers to track their internet usage when they have a choice.

But what about restricting ad tracking on your iPhone even before iOS 14 is available? It is possible, but only in Apple’s own advertising network.

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Below, I’ll tell you how to narrow down ad tracking, what exactly that means, and offer some of my own anecdotal experiences after trying it out myself.

Why limit ad tracking?


Ads in the App Store can become specific if you leave ad tracking enabled.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

The quick and easy answer: data protection. Ad tracking is a complicated topic that has many nuances and privacy implications as companies have found ways to track users’ online activity across multiple websites and devices.

An easy way to see ad tracking in action is to search for a product on Google or Amazon, wait a few minutes, then open the Facebook app on your phone and scroll through your feed. Chances are you’ll see ads for this product category. It’s horrifying how quickly advertisers can target your account just because you’ve searched for something on a completely independent website.

By restricting or deactivating ad tracking, you can prevent advertisers from following you on the Internet.

By the time iOS 14 officially launches this fall, any changes you make to ad tracking are on your iPhone or iPad ($ 429 on Amazon) Only affects Apple’s advertising network, which serves ads in the App Store, Apple News, and the Stocks app.


Nobody wants to be followed.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Limit ad tracking on your iPhone or iPad

To turn that on Limited ad tracking Open the function on your iPhone or iPad the settings App and tap privacy Then scroll to the bottom of the page and select advertising. There you will find the option to limit ad tracking, which should be turned off by default. Slide the switch to the On Position, then tap the button labeled Reset advertising identifier.

Resetting your Advertising ID will separate all information associated with you and your devices from you, which means Apple will no longer use that information to tailor the ads you see. You will not lose any functions by resetting the ID.

You can effectively start with a clean advertising profile. Combine that with restricting ad tracking and you should start seeing ads that aren’t targeting you – and that’s exactly the point.

You can go a step further by turning off Apple location-based ads by going to the settings > privacy > Location services > System services and turn off Location-based Apple Ads.

After the change

Even though Apple’s advertising platform is limited to a few apps, I noticed a difference as I scrolled through the App Store. Before resetting my ID and restricting ad tracking, a few days after looking for apps that would digitally sign a PDF file, I was presented with ads for various apps, such as: B. a PDF editor displayed.

Now my ads are more general but still relevant. For example, instead of the ad highlighting an app like Adobe Fill & Sign, I see an ad for a scanner app.

I don’t use the Apple News or Stocks apps, so I can’t say how much the ad tracking affected the experience in either of these apps. But I’d assume it’s similar to the App Store, with more general ads.

It’s a small change, but it will be even more dramatic once iOS 14 is slated to be released in September.

If you would like to take steps to limit ad tracking on your browser, We have a guide to help you do this. In addition to the changes to ad tracking, Apple also added a handful of privacy-focused features in iOS 14 That will help keep everything from your location to your photo library completely private. If you want to try the new features in iOS 14, you can Sign up for the public beta now, but it is probably best to wait for it to be officially released.


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