iOS

What is in Apple's new privacy policy?

Amidst all the glitz of releasing a new mobile operating system and iPhone, Apple quietly updated their privacy policy. Why?

Amidst all the glitz of releasing a new mobile operating system and iPhone, Apple quietly updated their privacy policy. Why?

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I first learned about Apple's new privacy policy when I installed iOS 4 on my iPhone 3Gs. The same opt-in request popped up when I set up my new iPhone 4. You know the drill, if you don't agree, everything stops right there.

I must confess. I was remiss and did not read all (okay, any) 45 pages of the privacy statement either time. But, I did make a mental note to find out what has changed.

Mobile ads

It seems the changes are required because Apple is getting into the mobile-ad business with their new development platform iAd. In this YouTube video, Mr. Jobs explains iAd and the following benefits:

  • Emotion + interactivity: Takes the best of online (interactive) and television (emotion) advertising.
  • Ads keep you in your app: You are not taken to a different web site.
  • Built into iPhone OS: Starting with iOS 4.
  • Apple sells and hosts the ads: Purportedly to keep quality high.
  • Developer: Retains 60 percent of revenues.

You have to admit, Mr. Jobs is one polished sales person. I was curious to find out what others thought, so I looked at the comment section. People expressed opinions ranging from complete disgust to it's a great idea. I'm curious now. Let me know what you think.

Okay, that's interesting, but why would mobile ads require Apple to change their privacy policy?

"Targeted" means retaining personal information

The following paragraph from Apple's privacy policy explains what they intend to do:

"Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns."

For this to work, Apple has to profile opted-in users and pass that information along to members of their iAd Network. Google does something similar. Their version is called interest-based advertising:

"Google offers a range of advertising services through our AdWords and AdSense programs to show you the most useful and relevant ads online. These ads appear on Google's sites and services, and on partner websites in the Google content network. Some ads are based primarily on your search queries or on the content of the page you're viewing."

Let's get back to Apple's new approach and see what they want to share.

Targeted information

According to the iAD web site, Apple will retain the following information and provide it to application developers and advertisers:

  • Demographics
  • Application preferences
  • Music passions
  • Movie genre interests
  • Television genre interests
  • Location

Apple also mentions that advertisers will get the following metrics:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks (taps) and click-through rate
  • Visits
  • Page views and pages per visit
  • Interactions (videos viewed, images viewed, etc.)
  • Average time spent per ad
  • Social pass-alongs
  • Conversions and downloads

Opt out

Both Google and Apple allow you to opt out of targeted advertising. This link to Google's Privacy Center will explain how to opt out of their interest-based advertising. How to opt out of Apple's iAd was a bit harder to find. It was buried in the privacy policy:

"If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device, you can opt out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com."

Don't make my mistake, that's the letter O, not a zero. What may be upsetting to some is the next paragraph in the policy:

"If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the content on a web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. This opt-out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks."

What's different with mobile devices

Targeting has been around for several years now. So, there must be something new that concerns privacy groups. There is: It's the ability of mobile phone service providers to track a mobile phone. Actually, more to the point, how is that information being used?

It gets murky as to what can be done with geolocational information. IT legal authorities say the closest thing to a governing law is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The problem with that is the law was passed in 1986, before most of us were online.

Not well-versed in legalese, I listened to Future Tense with John Moe. He recently aired "Geolocation, the law and you." The audio file helps explain why a 24 year-old law is woefully inadequate to protect what most of us consider sensitive information.

What Apple wants to do

At first, I did not understand. Why would an app not needing location information still want the GPS turned on? After I watched Mr. Jobs iAd video, it became clear. In the near future, there will be two types of applications:

  • Applications that use geolocational services such as Google Maps.
  • Applications with built-in advertising that use geolocational services.

If you remember, location was one of the targeted metrics being retained by Apple. It appears that information is used to show near-by locations where the advertised product can be found.

Allow or don't allow

I normally have GPS disabled on my iPhone, due to it being a significant drain on the battery. That used to be just one switch in the Settings. Now with iOS 4 it is more refined. iOS 4 allows you to choose which individual application can use Location Services:

If you have Location Services turned off and an application or application with embedded advertising needs it, the following window will pop up:

More questions than answers

Apple has now joined the list of those saying all targeted data will remain anonymous and does not identify individuals. I am not so sure it works that way. I wrote an article titled, "Electronic databases: What's new with privacy concerns." What I learned was supposedly anonymous databases weren't that anonymous. Now adding locating information to the mix will make them less so. So, who is right? I am also curious about the following:

  • Is the GPS shut off when it is disabled in Settings?
  • Can the GPS be turned on without our knowing it?
  • Will the embedded advertising use cell tower triangulation if GPS is disabled?
  • If we choose to opt out of relevant advertising, will the not-so relevant ads still ask for current location?
  • What happens if the application itself needs Location Services, and it has an embedded ad that needs it as well?

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many questions left unanswered. Yet, embedding advertisements in mobile phone applications is a game changer and not going away. What do you think about it?

About

Information is my field...Writing is my passion...Coupling the two is my mission.

80 comments
max bliss
max bliss

I am left feeling violated and sickened by the ease at which coparations and in reality the elite behind them are able to manipulate the masses. Any of the privacy policies written recently with failsafe mind numbing legal language ,stripping the users of any rights, is incredable that the populace will go along with it but it seems they are not awakened enough yet to use the ultimate power they have- their minds! Yes my friends, although at first it may appear your choices are slim in reality ditching all the tech will set you free. Please have a think about it and actually do something outside in some air, turn off the light, clost the door behind you and feel the wind and weather on you, get out and about. Very soon the powers that are will try to convince us all of the inconseevable but guess what my friends there will soon be a moment of collective consciousness and with little difficulty, all will be clear and finally make sense. We should not live in fear and neither should we.

edmofilho
edmofilho

They will make money with our "geolocation and interests" information. The question is how this money will return to us? Our information should have a value, do you agree?

Ocie3
Ocie3

It sounds like Steve Jobs has been learning from Eric Schmidt, and is now trying to one-up everyone by being first -?- to facilitate [i]targeted advertising[/i] in features of the iPhone iOS4 [b]operating system[/b] [i]per se[/i]. I watched the video twice (fell asleep the first time; maybe I should watch it again). As currently published, the Apple Privacy Policy discloses that Apple, its affiliates, and advertising networks, use cookies and "web beacons" -- for behavioral tracking with a unique "ID" that is common to all of the cookies to identify the computer and, by implicit association, the user. Behavioral tracking data is often combined with P.I.I. in the context of "data mining". However, it is not necessary to do that for targeted advertising that is derived only from analysis of the data that has been gathered for a specific "tracking ID". The policy pertaining to "Location-Based Services" basically states that geolocation data from an iPhone [i]"... is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you ...",[/i] and does not disclose whether it is associated with behavioral tracking data. Nonetheless, I would disable Location Services when I am approaching my residence or workplace, and not turn them on while I am there and until I am away from that location. With regard to iOS4 and iAd, we must wonder whether Apple requires [i]app developers[/i] to adhere to its privacy policy. Of course, with regard to browsing the WWW, the Apple Privacy Policy only applies to their web sites and advertising networks, not to those of other parties. [b]Note:[/b] The current geolocation of the iPhone user may be relevant to which advertising is displayed by an iPhone application, but the ad itself might only be "targeted" in that respect and not any other. For example, it might display an ad for a restaurant simply because it is nearby, but not an ad that is also chosen because your online behavior has implied that you personally prefer a specific cuisine. The "iPhone iOS4 User Guide" -- which I just call the "User Guide" although there is an outdated (?) one, too -- includes the following statement for "Settings" (pg. 16): [i]".... Use [b]Location Services[/b] settings to set location privacy options for Maps, Camera, Compass, and applicable third-party apps. ...." (emphasis added) [/i] So, I suppose doing that should reveal the users' location privacy options. Which is to also note that what you see is what you get, regardless of what the documentation might assert. That said, page 162 has the primary discussion of Location Services functions. When Location Services is turned on, the iPhone uses resources in the following order to ascertain its location: (1) Wi-Fi network, (2) cellular tower triangulation, (3) GPS satellite. Note that Location Services is disabled in iPhone "Airplane Mode". Questions: [i]# Is the GPS shut off when it is disabled in Settings?[/i] According to the User Guide, yes. Apple, and iPhone users (in forum discussions), say to turn Location Services off while you are not using any, because they significantly increase the amount of power that the iPhone is using. [i]# Can the GPS be turned on without our knowing it?[/i] An "arrowhead" indicator appears on the UI while any Location Services are in use (not just GPS), but I doubt there is an option to sound an alert. None of the Apple documentation that I could find discloses anything about whether GPS [i]can be activated[/i] by a remote signal, or even by an "app". However, iPhones do have a "find me" feature with which Apple can locate an iPhone at the request of its owner. I am not currently apprised of the details, though. Please buy me a Mac so I can download the iPhone SDK, and I'll let you know whether enabling geolocation is in the API. (Asking Apple iPhone user tech support could be cheaper!) :-) [i]# Will the embedded advertising use cell tower triangulation if GPS is disabled?[/i] I don't have an iPhone, but from reading the User Guide, if you enable Location Services, then you can disable Wi-Fi access, but you cannot disable triangulation or GPS. In Airplane Mode, though, you might be able to use Wi-Fi on some flights for some functions, but Location Services will be disabled. An app that has "embedded advertising" that depends upon geolocation data will simply ask iOS4 for the current values. Again, if Location Services is enabled, then iOS4 uses (in the following order): any available Wi-Fi network to which access is allowed, cellular tower triangulation, and then GPS, to determine the location of the iPhone. [i]# If we choose to opt out of relevant advertising, will the not-so relevant ads still ask for current location?[/i] My guess is that, from a pragmatic perspective, opting-out of "targeted advertising" just means that they won't display those types of ads, not that they won't continue behavioral tracking. Location Services are not required for behavioral tracking, which is effected by the use of "web beacons" (AKA "tracking cookies"), which are, of course, set [i]via[/i] the web browser that is in use. [i]# What happens if the application itself needs Location Services, and it has an embedded ad that needs it as well?[/i] AFAICS, there is no reason to deny that data to the app, or somehow not allow it to use that data with regard to displaying an "embedded ad". The question is whether you have opted-out of "targeted advertising" and whether the "embedded ad" is that type. The "iPhone iOS4 User Guide" can be downloaded from: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iPhone_iOS4_User_Guide.pdf A couple of user discussions: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=11628919http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=11766479� This article is interesting and revealing even if I never buy an iPhone. In fact, reading it makes me glad that I haven't bought one. As to whether Google's Android OS has, or will eventually have, comparable accommodation for behavioral tracking and targeted advertising, ... that is for another post. :-)

father.nature
father.nature

Real simple: my cell is my business phone. If it's going to be used to feed me ads, I expect my service to be free. If I have to pay, I expect no ads. And that's why I will never buy an iPhone. I don't care if it does my laundry; paying to be shilled isn't worth it.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

Its funny, but at least they have an opt out buried in there which most izombies wont bother to do.

gary
gary

I have a big problem with EULAs and other similar disagreements that pop up when you are trying to install and then use the "service" that you just purchased. Who does read these things at those moments? (I know, a lawyer.) The point that I want to make is that I really wonder if such in agreements are legal in the context in which they are presented. I know that some people (particularly those with a JD) will say "yes". But really... do you expect someone to read 45 pages and then click "yes" in good faith? Moreover, where is the "good faith" on the part of the seller when he/she presents you with a contract in such a situation (i.e., pay for a "license" and then have to read and understand 45 pages of fine print when all you want to do is use the acquisition you just bought)?

Redsheep
Redsheep

Not good. When I am spending MY time and money to use YOUR service, I am not putting you on my payroll to constantly "entice" me into buying the garbage you feel I need with MY money. If it's so great, send me a loaner for 90 days. Otherwise, you are invading my privacy. That's why I don't use smart phones. They allow the invaders that be to invade at will.

jzotos
jzotos

Excellent article, I am surprised this story has not been picked up by mainstream media.

iPadforHumans
iPadforHumans

IMHO: This is entirely my opinion and not sanctioned or acknowledged by my employer. Even before iPhoneOS4 was out, the FREE apps often come laden with ads, etc. These should not be labeled Free. "Infested" is more appropo. Maybe developers will realize there is more people willing to support their efforts if they come 'AD_FREE'. Other labels can be applied as well EU_APPROVED, ADA_ACCESSIBLE, etc.

jmguil
jmguil

Whatever the policy may be, I've add enough of being assaulted by advertising everywhere I turn. No matter what the sales gibberish may be, the point for Apple (and others) is making money. The day advertising stops being profitable (on mobile devices or anywhere else) will be the day it disappears. I will go out of my way to support vendors that allow me to truly decide what I WANT to do with MY mobile device! P.S. Over the past year or so, I became more interested in using Apple products to replace other aging equipment. No more: with all its latest antics, I no longer have any interest in Apple (including the IPhone).

sharpear
sharpear

I wanted one of these Iphones up until reading this article. I know, no matter what you do there will always be these PII(Personally Identifiable Information) databases that have information. I don't care as much that they have the information, but I would rather have all my resources working on what I want them to do. An application that takes 10% of my processor, memory, bandwidth, and part of my viewing area to run ads is unacceptable; even 2% is too much; especially when I had to buy the application on top of the device and service. I would rather have the device do what I paid and got it for, not spam me some ads of useless stuff I am not going to look at or buy anyways. If the application and device where free it would not bother me, but me paying money to be spammed is not in my best interest. If this is the way technology is going then what's the difference of my taking someone elses code and configuring it to my needs without approval. Or me pirating the application, beacuse the ads supplied does not make it worth my while to support/buy from the company. If they can use your information for their own purposes and profit, then I see no reason why companies get mad beacuse people pirate their software and applications. Yes ads are the primary way to promote your products, but if I want/need something I will take the time to research it, not see if on an Ad and impulse buy something that could be a crappy faulty design. I plan to read into the Electronic communications act, but it was too long to read that the current moment.

OldITBod
OldITBod

I think it stinks - when I bought my phone it was private (ish). Apple is becoming an unpleasant Gorilla.

jkameleon
jkameleon

I became disgusted with Apple a long looong time ago, for reasons I don't even care to remember. Ever since then, Jobs proved time and time again, that my mistrust is justified. For the time being, I'm sticking with Nokia & Symbian. I wouldn't buy iWhatever even on crack. If other manufacturers become as patronizing & intrusive as Apple, though, I might stop using mobile phone alltogether, convenience be damned. If I've managed to survive 50 years without the bloody thing, I might as well survive another 50.

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

Iphone4 32GB $699 Att 2GB data plan $45/month and now you get advertisements as well? Have we completely lost our minds?! If ANYTHING the consumer should be getting a refund of price for having ads show up. Sign up to allow ads and you get the phone and plan at a significant discount, essentially pushing part of your bill onto the advertisers. "But google does it", yes, but they arent showing ads to people that are paying for google search or youtube access! (or maybe they are, I know I dont pay montarily for either service) I must have missed the complete internet riot that came when this mobile ad thing was announced. Whats next, paying spammers a fee for the right to get emails asking if I would like to increase the size of my junk?!

Ocie3
Ocie3

"our information" is invaluable -- to us, but businessmen put a price on it, which is related to the profit that they expect to gain by using it. None of that money will be "returned to us". Under current laws and court rulings, whatever information that we are willing to reveal to them, and/or allow them to collect and retain about us, is simply [i]their[/i] personal property, not ours. So, they do not owe any of us anything for using [i]their[/i] property to profit.

santeewelding
santeewelding

This post, meantime, being for the young, clueless, and presumably uncaring? For your two cents worth? How is it that you give a shilt, otherwise? As you might be able to tell, I follow this ever so closely, as well. Neither do I own or expect to have and to depend for on my being an iPhone. What's your reason?

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I am afraid that other telco providers will follow Apple's lead.

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

...not the ads. I dont know which is worse, getting ads selected based on my interest or getting random ads. It's a bit like having a stick and wondering "which eye should I poke out, the right or the left?"

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I have to laugh when I go to a hardware store and see the required safety tags plastered all over ladders. Edit: Spelling

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

It's out there a bit in the tech media, but I suspect they are more into what Apple is going to do about the antenna problem.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Any locational services? Did they show you where the nearest store was? I haven't used an app yet that had adverts, so it would be interesting to hear about them.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

The adverts will be presented. But, in Mr. Jobs video, there was a small space reserved at the bottom for the add introduction. As I mentioned earlier, I suspect other will jump on this approach soon.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I was not able to find out if the embedded add were going to be just on the free apps or the ones that you have to buy. I thought Mr. Jobs said that app developers would keep prices low with the adds. Maybe they will have two versions. I also am getting the feeling that this will not be just an Apple technology. I can see Google jumping on this.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Is this any different from how Yahoo or Google use targeted advertising?

techrepublic@
techrepublic@

... paid by the user. Is there anything in the iPhone worth trashing ones privacy?

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Comcast has adds in their web mail. I emailed support and complained, but got the "we are trying to provide relevant services to our users" line. Bill

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

From my research, I suspect that all providers will jump on this. It is financially to their benefit.

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

A lot of those things make me laugh, sometimes I wonder if we as a species might be better off letting people do things like using a blowdryer while still taking a shower if they think its a good idea.

bwheel
bwheel

If Google was smart they would not do this on purpose to further distance themselves from Apple. Google makes enough money on ads, and does it mostly in a way that doesn't seem to bother anyone. I guess in the end some company out there has to have your PII (Personal Identifiable Information), do we need multiple companies having it? So far Google has generally been doing things the right way. Apple on the other hand has not. (FYI: I dislike Apple and their software very much, although their hardware is very well thought out.)

slam5
slam5

The difference between apple and google/ayhoo is that they are providing a "free" seri-- while i am paying apple directly for something already. yes, i know i have to sit through the advertising before the main movie starts but i don't share my personal info with the advertiser. this way, i just to bear with the ad. what apple do is potentially exposing my personal data. what apple is doing is far worse than M$

alec.wood
alec.wood

Google et al chuck ads into my browser window which are unobtrusive and easy to ignore. They cost me nothing. I can opt out easily by using another service instead. The delivery from inside apps makes this much more like the proposed free Office 2010, or the free ad-supported PC's, except for two key areas - choice, there is none; and opt-out, there isn't one of those either.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Geolocation can only roughly guess in which country and city you are, while mobile phone location can be determined to about 800m, if GPS is switched off. At Nokias, the latter is usually the case, because GPS receiver is a battery hog. I don't know about iPhone's GPS. If I understand Apple's policy correctly, it would enable them to track every iPhone user all the time. A stalker's paradise. I could be wrong, of course, but... the only thing special about iPhone is fashion & hype, otherwise it's comparable to other phones. Not using iPhone causes no inconvenience, therefore it's better to be paranoid than sorry in this particular case. Naturally, somebody with access to mobile provider network could determine my phone position, or eavesdrop, or whatever, but not legally, and certainly without my consent. And, if at all possible, without being aided by a device carried in my pocket, and bought by my money. That's why I'm more comfortable with open source platforms like Symbian.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

It's just Apple. I suspect that Android has all the same capabilities.

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

For Phone I have ATT, but I'll likely be switching to virgin mobile or prepaid in the very near future. I don't have a mobile data plan due to their price and I dont have a 'smart' or internet enabled phone because I simply dont have the need to warrant the cost, I have a basic phone with no frills or special features. I use it to make calls *gasp* =) Now on something like Virgin Mobile, which is less than half the cost of ATT's plan, I can understand the occasional advertisement. After all theres no such thing as a free lunch. But on the premium priced carriers like Verizon and ATT I expect a higher level of service and quality, and double dipping on your customers is not an acceptable business practice. Phone plan runs about $50 a month without a data plan, 2GB data plan is $45 a month, unless I'm mistaken thats $95 a month...and, unless they are setting up some way to not charge you for the data download of the advertisement, they are using your data quota to do it. Lets use an out-there example... You have a 200MB plan, you pay $40 a month for it, a 1mb ad just cost you 20 cents for the priviledge of seeing an ad for something you may or may not want. You'll notice that I use the extreme pricing and plans, the reason for this is that if the idea is questionable in the pricest and most lenient plan, then the problem is even more noticeable in smaller plans. This is especially true when dealing with something as fundamentally objectionable as privacy invading ads. It's bad enough that they are wasting my time, I dont want them to charge me for wasting my time.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

If it's in the browser there are many cures for that.

Ocie3
Ocie3

I don't know anything about "Discussions at Large" on TechRepublic (at least). Most of the posts to Major Geeks, Spyware Beware, Bleeping Computer, and other fora like them, are by people who have problems with their computers that I cannot solve. I try to stay out of discussions of politics and/or religion and/or economics, especially legal debates. I know just enough to get into trouble and not enough to get out of it.

bwheel
bwheel

I do have a choice, but it is a much more expensive choice. DSL requires me to have a landline active or $18 - $24 a month, and the price for the equivalent speed (the real data rate) is about the same as the Cable Company?s price. So I would have to spend that $18 - $24 more to not have Comcast every month. I guess you can always have a choice if you?re willing to pay for it, but I don't think it's really a choice when it's 33% more for the same technology.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Is to lay off your targeted, email notifications, and join Discussions at large. Talk about an intellectual exercise: I think you would be stretched, and tickled. As old as you are, with respect to exercise, what do you have to lose? Dignity?

Ocie3
Ocie3

Quote: [i]".... I don't have choice over my ISP, as my landlord will only allow Comcast. So I'm locked in. ...."[/i] Ordinarily there is only one "cable TV" provider in each town and city in the USA. Because the infrastructure investment was considerable, Congress passed legislation to allow the cable companies to have exclusive monopolies in local areas. However, if you have a telephone line in your rental unit, then you [i]could[/i] be able to subscribe to DSL instead of using cable broadband. I have that choice, but the respective cost for the maximum transmission rate is about the same for either one. DSL is better for me, because the telephone company [i]qua[/i] ISP offers it in levels of increasing download speed (and corresponding upload speed levels), and I can choose a slower speed for a price that is more affordable. It also helps that my landlord hired a guy to install a new telephone line, but I had to pay $55 for a telco tech to connect it. You are right, though, that lack of competition results in lack of choices as well as higher charges for the same service, or even a decline in the quality of service.

bwheel
bwheel

It seems to me that they are double dipping. I mean take the comcrastic example and webmail is something that an ISP pretty much has to give out. They are then generating revenue for a service that you are paying for. I don't believe that the cost of the service dropped by the subsidization? Are we getting anything more out of it? The answer likely is no. This is where I don't like ads in my face. If I am paying for something than don't make it riddled with ads. This site has ads all over it. Do they bother me? No. But if I paid for this site and they had a bunch of ads, I would stop paying for it. Unfortunately with these services that we are talking about sometimes we don't have choice. I don't have choice over my ISP, as my landlord will only allow Comcast. So I'm locked in. The same is true for cell phone providers. We don't have a lot of choice, and because of that we don't have much say in what they are doing. This is one of the underlying problems; we don?t really have consumer influence over these companies. Too much complacency and big business has led us down this path.

Ocie3
Ocie3

in software that we use online, software that does not execute on our computer or other access device (such as a cel phone). Someone has mentioned that Comcast has already started embedding ads in their online "web e-mail" service. The user's browser displays the web e-mail GUI, and the ads (of course), and sends the user's input to the web e-mail app.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I am also wondering if some app developers will use the same logic and advertise that they do not have embedded ads. It's not a for sure deal that this will work.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I have not determined if the advertising will on for sale apps or just free apps. That may make a difference. I can see Google doing this with Android as well.

seanferd
seanferd

I'm sure Apple won't allow an app or browser extension that could block ads, etc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm flying on the reputation of Apples gated products, not solid facts.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I guess there really is no opt-out other than to not buy the application.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

On iPhone, but my Tom Tom would do that. Thanks for explaining the reason. I also have noticed that my iPhone 4 appears to use more power than my 3Gs. I attributed it to multitasking, but now Hmmm.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Well, at least at phones I'm using. If GPS hasn't been used for a couple of days, phone needs 20 minutes, half an hour or more to get a lock on satellites without A-GPS. Besides, GPS burns batteries. If switched on remotely for a longer periods of time, user would probably notice. Triangulation is far more discrete, albeit less accurate. As far as I can tell, pretty big, and for most part overlooked privacy/security risk is A-GPS. Typically, it's activated every time GPS is turned on, announcing that to the whole world. I got pretty bad feeling about Symbian's A-GPS. About a week or so ago, Nokia's A-GPS server (supl.nokia.com) went down, right when I had to travel somewhere. I tried to switch to Google's server (supl.google.com). Apparently, my phone received satellite data succesfully, but than it crashed, totally. It simply switched itself off, Symbian's equivalent of infamous Windows blue screen. That means, that received A-GPS data aren't checked properly, which means potential security hole.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I am not well-versed in code, so I could not say whether an OS is doing what the developer says it does or not. I am still trying to find out if the GPS can be turned on remotely, if it is disabled in the phone.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Possibilities for spying are enormous, and so is temptation. Luckily, there is an open source, ad free alternative. Paranoia comes cheaply here, and I can afford it. I've came across some ad supported apps on Ovi Store, but never examined them more in detail, and I don't know that the exact policy is. I don't use such things. I'd imagine the privacy policy depends on the author of the application. As far as I know, Symbian always asks for permission before allowing 3rd party app to acces any of he critical phone's resources, like GPS, flash memory, network, etc. Eventual privacy problems are consequently not between Nokia and user, but between author of the application and user. If you download ad supported app, and allow it to access your GPS- your problem. Looking from this perspective, the heart of the problem is Apple's closed approach. Apple has absolute control of everything regarding its products. It's therefore only fair, that Apple is also blamed for everything regarding iPhone.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Android was open source. I guess I don't see what that has to do with the applications and advertising, though.

jkameleon
jkameleon

For the foreseeable future, I'm sticking with Nokia. With open source OS, chances of being spied upon by my own phone are much smaller.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Can do the same thing as Apple. As for legal, that is what I am trying to determine. At least in this country it seems a bit nebulous right now.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Is what you pointed out. The adverts Mr. Jobs showed had GPS on, videos, and other fairly-intensive applications. Edit: Spelling