New iPhone OS Brings Privacy Updates
Apple is rolling out its new iPhone operating system, which means that it is also rolling out its new iAd platform. Which means that Apple now has to make its users the same offer that other big digital ad players offer: You can opt-out of our ad targeting program, if you’re willing to do a little work.
As the post points out the most important part of the policy is about cookies and what you can do to keep specific information away from marketers. Here is that section of the policy
To sum up there is no way to stop ads from being shown. It’s just that the ads you see will be less targeted if you opt-out. This only applies to Apple’s ad network so third party ad servers will need to be addressed separately which might be an interesting experience.
Here’s the bottom line on all of this in my humble and far less than expert opinion. It’s the Internet. Advertisers want as much information about targets as they can get in order to make sure their message goes to the right place so money is not wasted fishing in the wrong place. They will do whatever they can to look like they have the end users’ privacy as their main concern. This is not for the end users’ benefit it is for the company to do a full legal CYA. They put these policies out there and keep their fingers crossed that few, if any, will actually take themselves out of the system.
They also know that the well informed who actually know this stuff are a relatively small group compared to the overall market. So even if they are influencers of sorts they are really only influencers to other influencers, not the masses. It’s a funny little business we are in because we tend to have a pretty inflated view of our impact on the market at large. What happens more often than not these things ‘findings’ rarely get too far beyond the walls of the industry so the ‘damage’ is minimal to Apple’s and other companies efforts to provide a lot of targeted data to marketers.
We’ve always had a very different view of privacy than some of our colleagues in the Valley. We take privacy extremely seriously. That’s one of the reasons we have the curated apps store. We have rejected a lot of apps that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up into the cloud.
Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for. In plain English, and repeatedly, that’s what it means. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.
That’s nice conference speak. Too bad privacy policies don’t read the same way.