Earlier this year, Apple’s operating system IOS received the addition of new privacy settings that to a greater extent prevent data collection. The user must now first be asked about data collection and can also block applications from collecting data. When the user denies or blocks an application, it loses access to the unique ID that Apple assigns to each device.
Shortly after the launch, close to 90 percent of users were expected to use the feature, which created concern in the huge market for targeted advertising and marketing. Now reports The Washington Post (via 9to5mac) that most popular applications bypass IOS privacy settings and continue to collect and send data to third parties.
But something curious happens after you ask not to be tracked, according to an investigation by researchers at privacy software maker Lockdown and The Washington Post. Subway Surfers starts sending an outside ad company called Chartboost 29 very specific data points about your iPhone, including your Internet address, your free storage, your current volume level (to 3 decimal points) and even your battery level (to 15 decimal points). – The Washington Post
Without access to the device’s unique ID, more subtle methods are used, such as logging the device’s brightness, battery level, available storage space and recent reboot time. Some applications only download this to work as intended, but according to The Washington Post, large amounts are sent to advertising companies to map users.
Even if information such as battery level or screen strength only says something about the device at that particular moment, it is possible that information is compiled over time to identify devices. This type of tracking is not permitted under Apple’s terms. Several of the applications are said to have reported to Apple for their data collection methods several weeks ago, but the company has apparently not taken any action.
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