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  • Ad Networks try to Bypass Apple's Privacy Rules


    Increased security measures that ban user-tracking apps from Apple’s App Store have forced many ad networks to adopt alternative methods to obtain valuable information. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, ad networks are finding workarounds as Apple attempts to limit user tracking amid privacy concerns that are voiced both by consumers and the U.S. government.

    Previously, the mobile advertising industry, which was born when Apple launched the App Store alongside the iPhone 3G in 2008, relied on user data to effectively monetize ad space by tailoring advertisements to specific demographics. Without the user tracking data, it was exposed that networks were authorizing a loophole that allowed an app to upload geo-tagged photos in the background, which theoretically granted access to sensitive location data without a user’s knowledge. An example of this was Path, which faced some heat for uploading contents of an iDevice’s address book to an offsite server.

    The government stepped in when Congress sent two letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting a briefing on what the company was doing to remedy the perceived iOS privacy issues. In response to the media’s complaints, Apple planned to limit UDID access and began blanket rejections of apps that accessed the data. At this time, ad networks were rumored to be experimenting with MAC addresses and OpenUDID as substitutes for the UDID access ban. Recent reports claim that ad providers are now using Open Device Identification Network (ODIN) as well as the aforementioned OpenUDID to bypass Apple’s security measures. It’s still unclear what workaround the networks will finally settle on to deliver the data they require.

    Once decided, we’ll have to see what actions Apple will take, if any, to protect user privacy.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Ad Networks try to Bypass Apple's Privacy Rules started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      What part of user privacy don't they understand...
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Definitely! I get porno ads in half the iAds! Orem some scam sh*t about singles in my neighborhood!
    1. the87th's Avatar
      the87th -
      someone should write a version of adblock plus for the iphone. i really am sick of seeing adds, and i think it would be great if i could block ads in 'free' apps.
    1. swifty7's Avatar
      swifty7 -
      does 'protect my privacy' app from cydia protect users from this new breach in privacy?
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      Quote Originally Posted by the87th View Post
      someone should write a version of adblock plus for the iphone. i really am sick of seeing adds, and i think it would be great if i could block ads in 'free' apps.
      there is, it's in the cydia store for $1.99, there is also firewall ip which effectively blocks communication with ad servers as well. both are well worth the few bucks they cost.
    1. DJStile's Avatar
      DJStile -
      I don't understand this article. The title is "Ad Networks try to Bypass Apple's Privacy Rules" and I do not see one example of how Ad Networks are supposedly bypassing Apple's privacy rules...
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      This is exactly why I block so many ads, both on my devices and on my (desktop & laptop) computers.
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJStile View Post
      I don't understand this article. The title is "Ad Networks try to Bypass Apple's Privacy Rules" and I do not see one example of how Ad Networks are supposedly bypassing Apple's privacy rules...
      Did you read the article? They mention explicitly that Ad networks are now trying OpenUDID's, ODIN numbers and MAC addresses.