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Old 06-05-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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iPhone and Ipad iOS Privacy violations

For those who use iOS devices as eReaders:
iPhone and Ipad iOS Privacy violations
If the Ad people can do it, who else can?

Ad Networks Bypass iPhone Privacy Rules
The Wall Street Journal Technology
June 5, 2012, 4:21AM ET

By JOEL SCHECTMAN And JESSICA E. VASCELLARO


"Mobile ad networks are using new techniques to target iPhone users by circumventing Apple Inc.'s earlier efforts to protect user privacy.

Apple last summer said it would stop allowing app makers to use a unique identifier embedded in iPhones and iPads to track users as they move from app to app, which is an important way for advertisers to position their ads for appropriate audiences.

To avoid the limits of Apple's rules, ad networks that serve advertisements within mobile apps have started using new identifiers that collect information like location and preferences as the user moves across apps. One of the tracking systems is based on a unique identifier located in the iPhone's wireless networking hardware—a system known as Open Device Identification Number, or ODIN. The other prominent tracking alternative, called OpenUDID, uses the device's built-in copy-and-paste function.

These networks claim they will lose millions of dollars a week in revenue unless they can gather personal data from users to better target them. Privacy advocates argue these new techniques could allow marketers to identify individuals and violate unsuspecting users' privacy."


--read more--

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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I thought this sounded kind of serious, but so far the reaction to this thread has been nil.

Not being very much of a Apple device user or an Apple applications user myself, maybe I just don't understand. I just loaded a lot of free apps on an iPod Touch and then a few pay apps for my lady friend. That is the extent of my experience.

I do have kids and other relatives that use many Apple products some with cellular connections. Some of those products I have contributed toward the purchase price of.

Is this article overblown? Is it old news?

Or is it just not very well understood at this point and has been shoved under the bed or the rug and beyond the conscious attention of the staunch Apple Consumer?
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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I have to ask - who cares?

If I really must see ads, I would at least like them to be ads which target my interests.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Or is it just not very well understood at this point and has been shoved under the bed or the rug and beyond the conscious attention of the staunch Apple Consumer?
This, I think in general people don't get privacy and really don't care.

In general I feel all platforms have security/privacy issues that are not discovered, for me the story is when a company chooses not to do anything about it. This is not the case here.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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I have to ask - who cares?

If I really must see ads, I would at least like them to be ads which target my interests.
+1
Last year when I was looking to buy a new laptop, based on my browser history I started seeing ads for laptops. I saw one with an offer I liked and I got the laptop.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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I have to ask - who cares?

If I really must see ads, I would at least like them to be ads which target my interests.
The issue isn't about ads, it's about creating a device id that can track everything you ever do with your phone, and about creating a new one after Apple had nuked the previous one to try to protect customer privacy. From the article:

Quote:
"It's emblematic of a culture problem in Silicon Valley that sees a privacy control as not a customer protection, but a technical barrier to be overcome," Mr. Mayer said. "The response wasn't, 'They don't want us to track users between apps.' It's, 'They got rid of one user ID number so let's make another magic ID number.' It's like upside down land."
With that id in place you can't clear cookies, it doesn't matter whether you use Adblock, unless you know the IP of every server data is ever being sent to then a hosts file won't do you any good. If you turn on the phone, they know what you're doing.

If you use Twitter then that app takes all your phonebook numbers and contact details (as do others probably), if you use email then they know all your email addresses, if you use online banking then they know where you bank, if you have GPS on the phone they know where you go. All this can easily be concatenated with matching data from your PC. Now they probably know who is your family, what friends you have, where you work, every website you have ever visited, maybe what car you drive, where you're going on holiday, what books you read - all in one big database. With six degrees of separation they can build an interlocking set of relationships and data for just about anyone and everyone in the country.

The KGB would drool over having the personal data that is collectable now. "If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

Last edited by plib; 06-06-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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+1
Last year when I was looking to buy a new laptop, based on my browser history I started seeing ads for laptops. I saw one with an offer I liked and I got the laptop.
I don't see ads, which doesn't mean they're not tracking me anyway but I just don't get to see what they're sending and I prefer it that way. If I'm looking for a new laptop I know who writes decent reviews, I know who makes decent hardware and I know who sells at decent prices. A quick whip around the usual suspects, a comparative spreadsheet of wants, features and pricing and I'm either done or know where I have to monitor prices until I get the price I want, which can usually be done on one comparative price website.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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The KGB would drool over having the personal data that is collectable now. "If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."
Alternatively they could just check people's Facebook pages, where most users seem happy to publish all sorts of information about themselves.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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I'm not too excited about privacy from ads. I'm fighting a losing war against them, in general. Websites have more unavoidable ads, or roll-overs, or pop-ups. If I'm going to be barraged with ads it might as well be targeted correctly.

As an aside, this issue for iOS isn't signficantly different than it is for Android OS, just that Apple is trying to grab a bigger slice of ad revenues. I surely don't have sympathy for the ad agencies whining their revenues will drop if they can't ID us.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Alternatively they could just check people's Facebook pages, where most users seem happy to publish all sorts of information about themselves.
Yes, and lots of them already have had cause to regret it. At least Facebook, dumb as it is, is opt-in so if people want to bare their lives it's their choice. Trackable device ID's aren't opt-in and, in the case in question, are a specific end run around declared privacy goals.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:44 AM   #11
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The issue isn't about ads, it's about creating a device id that can track everything you ever do with your phone, and about creating a new one after Apple had nuked the previous one to try to protect customer privacy.
Yes, I know, but personally I really don't give a damn. If anyone wants to track what I do with my iPhone, they are very welcome to do so. It's not a secret.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:49 AM   #12
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Yes, I know, but personally I really don't give a damn. If anyone wants to track what I do with my iPhone, they are very welcome to do so. It's not a secret.
It's not just about you. There are somewhat larger principles involved.

People have already been asked for their Facebook and other logins as part of a job interview procedure, people have been fired for what is on their Facebook pages or other data they've left on the web. What happens when everything you do online is collated and available to anyone, including a potential employer, who is prepared to pay the collators for it? It's bad enough when the NSA knows your entire life. I don't want Madison Avenue, and anyone else to whom they care to sell it, to know it as well, and apparently I'm not alone in that.

Last edited by plib; 06-07-2012 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:54 AM   #13
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What happens when everything you do online is collated and available to anyone, including a potential employer, who is prepared to pay the collators for it?
I honestly don't see a problem with an employer doing background research using publicly available information before employing a person. It's a legitimate thing to do. There are many jobs for which an employer could have good reasons to conduct such background checks.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:00 AM   #14
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I honestly don't see a problem with an employer doing background research using publicly available information before employing a person. It's a legitimate thing to do. There are many jobs for which an employer could have good reasons to conduct such background checks.
Including Facebook activity?
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:00 AM   #15
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I honestly don't see a problem with an employer doing background research using publicly available information before employing a person. It's a legitimate thing to do. There are many jobs for which an employer could have good reasons to conduct such background checks.
Do the research on the cases in question. This wasn't publicly available information.

Information on Facebook can be restricted from public availability, or limited to friends only. The employers wanted those individuals' personal logins and passwords to peruse information on their accounts that wasn't publicly available but only available to the account holder. You might think that's acceptable, several US jurisdictions don't. There are laws being passed to forbid it.

In the case of the device ID's none of that information is publicly available, unless there's a public database somewhere detailing all the numbers, names and addresses of the contacts on my phone, all the websites I visit, all the email accounts I use, where I bank, where I go in my car every day, where I spend my holidays?

Last edited by plib; 06-07-2012 at 04:07 AM.
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