Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Apple’s new privacy settings vexes trackers

George P. Slefo reports for Ad Age on how the tracking industry is reacting to Apple’s iOS 13 lockdown of apps using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as tracking proxies. It’s a fine overview, but this is the paragraph that struck me:

The move might also strengthen the position of companies such as X-Mode, which get users’ permission to collect location data by plugging into various apps that have legitimate use cases for capturing location. The company, for example, has an earthquake alert app, making it more likely that a user would be willing to share their location. Others, such as Foursquare, gather location data through owned-and-operated consumer apps such as City Guide, Swarm and Placed.

Something to be aware of: Just because an app you’re using has a legitimate reason to track your location doesn’t mean that it won’t use that information to build a profile about you. Ad trackers will buy or build apps that have legitimate uses that require location data—and then use that data to build a profile.

With iOS 13 I find that I am being very aggressive about denying Bluetooth access and location data to most third-party apps. It’s also worth remembering only to use weather and security apps from trustworthy developers, since they’ll be getting your valuable location data.

[Hat tip: Six Colors subscriber Warren Pena.]

—Linked by Jason Snell

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