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Opt Out of Cookies for Apple’s iAds in iOS4

Cookie picture, by amagill --

The iAds feature in Apple’s iOS 4 has caused its fair share of controversy, and Apple’s privacy policy has just been updated to reflect the changes that iAds bring to the platform.

Notably, it is possible to opt out of iAds ‘cookies’, which means that the ads you see might be less relevant, but you are able to opt out from targeted advertising, which some people may be uncomfortable with (especially considering this functionality is built in across the OS and, presumably, the analytical data Apple gather from iAds would be shared across different apps).

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: 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.

I would encourage anyone upgrading to iOS 4 or purchasing a new iOS device to consider opting out of the iAd cookies, if they feel more comfortable knowing that the advertising is ‘dumb’ and not being targeted directly at them.

As the quote from the privacy policy says, all you have to do to opt out is visit on each iOS 4 device where you want to opt out.

Cookie image is &#8216C is for Cookie’ by amagill on Flickr. Licensed under CC-BY.

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  1. Chris wrote:

    Good for Apple for doing this. Really, I shouldn’t be commending them for something that is so basic (and I believe is required by law?) but this does seem particularly un-Apple like.

    Monday, June 21, 2010 at 18:51 | Permalink |
  2. Peter wrote:

    I think Apple want to make the case that iAds is way more respectful of the user than competing ad platforms as well. If you saw the Steve Jobs video at D8 and his response to Flurry Analytics – this move makes a lot of sense.

    You are right, of course, that this is probably required by law, if not in the US then almost certainly it would be by stricter EU privacy laws. They haven’t yet gone out of their way to promote the opt-out either – I just happened to notice it because I was in the iTunes Store and had to accept the changes to the Store T&Cs (their summary of the changes pointed me to the privacy policy).

    Monday, June 21, 2010 at 18:59 | Permalink |
  3. Lee Findlow wrote:

    Given that Apple has promoted this as functionality built into the OS it seems a bit backwards to me to have a web page which is pretty much hidden from sight of an end user unless they know exactly what they’re looking for! Would have thought a simple switch in Settings would have sufficed, rather than blatantly trying to hide it!

    Monday, June 21, 2010 at 19:13 | Permalink |

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