How to Limit Ad Tracking in iOS
For those with iPhones, iPads, and iPods who don’t want to be served more relevant ads by way of anonymous usage tracking, a new setting in iOS 6 allows users to flip a switch to limit such ad tracking on their device.
To be clear, this setting is about serving targeted advertisements based on anonymous usage data, it does not track anything personally identifiable. Apple says that by turning ON the feature “apps are not permitted to use the Advertising Identifier to serve you targeted ads“, meaning you’ll end up seeing more generic ads within apps instead of something more likely related to your interests.
- Open Settings and tap “General” then tap “About”
- Scroll to the bottom of About and tap “Advertising”
- Flip “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON
For desktop Mac users, there’s a similar Do Not Track feature in the newest versions of Safari, and there’s always general ad blockers available as plugins for just about every major web browser if you don’t want to see anything at all.
Update: For more thorough control of ad-based privacy options, you can also opt out of iAds and turn off location based iAds elsewhere in settings, thanks to Huang for sending these two tips in:
- Tap to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services
- Turn off “Location Based iAds”
- Turn off “Diagnostics and Usage”
Additionally, you can opt out directly from your iOS device via web browser:
- Open http://oo.apple.com/
- Turn off “Internet Based iAds”
- Press “Opt Out” to confirm
I opt out of everything not because of privacy reasons but because of battery life. Turning all that stuff off saves at a bit of battery a day with heavy app and web usage.