Apple's latest iPhone update gives users more control over targeted ads
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Nearly half of all Americans own an iPhone and starting next week they’re going to notice a big change when it comes to privacy settings and digital advertising.
Cliff Ayers owns an iPhone and says when he searches for a product -- like golf clubs -- he then notices a burst of advertising on his phone about golfing.
"I don’t care for it," Ayers said. "If I want to find something on boats or golf I’ll go look for it."
It’s called app tracking; apps talking to one another about what you’re most interested in based on your search history and other online behaviors.
"The idea is that apps can work together to track…across different platforms," explained Lily Hay Newman, a senior writer for WIRED Magazine.
Next week, Apple is shaking up the world of digital advertising with its latest iPhone update, giving users the option to opt-out of tracking, which will come to users as a notification.
She says this is a game-changer in the way companies like Facebook and Instagram target ads.
"For the advertising community and app developers, the concern is that once this is on people’s minds and they’re more aware that this is going on…that they’re going to say 'no,'" Newman told FOX 13.
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The move comes amid an antitrust debate on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are hearing from app developers who say companies like Apple and Google have too much power.
Apple, which isn’t driven by advertising revenue, says adding the opt-out feature is really about adding transparency.
"They say privacy is a human right and it’s part of their corporate approach," Newman explains. "…It’s not that I don’t believe them, but it also aligns with their business interests."
Some say the opt-out could hurt marketing campaigns for small businesses and would create a poor advertising experience for users, but Ayers says he will be opting out.
"It should be transparent on what kind of data is being collected on you when you use your phone," Ayers said.
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