Ad tracking 'blocker' comes to iOS 6

Apple's unique device identifiers (UDID) is soon to be dead to advertisers, replaced by the Advertising Identifier. With it, you'll be able to limit targeted ads in iOS 6, but it won't be fully functional at first.

The new advertising control menu.
(Credit: 9to5Mac)

Apple has built into iOS 6 a new toggle that will let you prevent advertisers from hitting you with targeted ads, but slow implementation of its new Advertising Identifier number means that you will still see targeted ads on your iPhone for the foreseeable future.

First reported by 9to5Mac, the Limit Ad Tracking option is designed to prevent advertisers from tracking your behaviour on the phone. It's a lot like a phone-based version of Do Not Track, except one that advertisers will be forced to obey since iOS is a proprietary system.

The toggle is available in iOS 6 general settings menu. Per Apple's "learn more" section, Apple explained that you still might see targeted ads, since not all ad networks will have switched to the Advertising Identifier by the time iOS 6 rolls out next week. According to 9to5Mac, the full text reads:

"iOS 6 introduces the Advertising Identifier, a non-permanent, non-personal device identifier that advertising networks will use to give you more control over advertisers' ability to use tracking methods. If you choose to limit ad tracking, advertising networks using the Advertising Identifier may no longer gather information to serve you targeted ads. In the future, all advertising networks will be required to use the Advertising Identifier. However, until advertising networks transition to using the Advertising Identifier, you may still receive targeted ads from other networks."

So far, Apple has not publicly set a timeline for how long the transition will take, leaving the statement an open-ended one.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update when we hear back.


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