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You’d like think that Apple would disable an option to track users by default, not so? In iOS 6 for iPhone they introduce IFA or IDFA, which stands for identifier for advertisers, and leave it on by default. That’s questionable enough. But then not to say much about it to users and also bury the setting to disable it in a counter-intuitive location? That’s deceptive, and when you see where they buried it you’ll agree — it’s a shameful abuse of their user interface and experience.

No, it’s not amongst your privacy settings. But, to be fair, as far as I can tell, IDFA does not give up any information that can personally identify you, just your geolocation which could be of some value to advertisers who want to target you based on whereabouts.

Settings>General>About>Advertising>Limit Ad Tracking “On” (was “Off” by default)

Think about that for a second. Most people would have started down the Settings>Privacy route (perhaps onto Location Services) to find options to tweak the iPhone’s ability to disclose information about you and your location. Under About you expect to read information about your iPhone, not apply settings to it (although under Diagnostics & Usage there is one other option you can set to send Apple data, which may include location information, to help them improve service).

The option to Limit Ad Tracking is so obviously misplaced I’d say it was deliberately hidden my the misapplication of Apple’s own UI standards and therefore an abuse of its user experience. I’m disappointed.

Before you turn your Limit Ad Tracking setting to On, consider what benefits you might lose. You might enjoy a discount offer from a restaurant that picks up on your being in their neighbourhood. I’m old school, I find it creepy that strangers know where I am and I prefer my recommendations from people I know, not from strangers that thrust discount coupons upon me.

Links Apple’s New Advertising ID in iOS6 Sets the Standard

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