iPhone users may want to take heed of a hidden setting in the privacy section of devices that turns off the ability for apps to track your activity, the Daily Star reports. With each phone given a unique advertising ID, apps are able to track your activity across the internet and other apps.
This allows apps to keep an eye on your online activity and tailor personalised ads based on your habits. They build a picture of your personality, lifestyle, what you buy and even your political beliefs.
The downside – and certainly more sinister – of this is that many apps sell this data on to other companies. But you can take steps to avoid this.
While Apple has attempted to limit websites from tracking its users’ browser usage with a new Safari feature, apps are still able to keep tabs on you in this way. Fortunately, there’s a hidden list on the iPhone that tells you exactly which apps are following you around the internet—and gives you an option to block them from doing so.
There’s even a new iPhone update which will require you to give apps permission to track your activity when you open them. To turn off app tracking, you just have to open your iPhone Settings app then tap ‘Privacy’ and hit ‘Tracking’ at the top.
This will give you access to a massive list of apps, all of which gather data on you. You can then tap on them to disable tracking on individual apps, or even hit a button that switches off ad tracking for all apps.
It comes amid a wider privacy push from Apple after CEO Tim Cook said last year that “we believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used”.
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