Your iPhone finds it difficult to keep your "secrets" well. However, there is something you can do about it. What are you doing at Internet, which apps you download and, often, where you go, is data that can be linked to the so-called iPhone ad ID Android mobile phones have a similar ad ID). Combined with commercially available databases, this unique alphanumeric string may suffice for third parties to be able to associate the actions of an iPhone with the real name of its owner.
A recent example of this finding is the publication of an article by them on 5 February New York Times, which reveals the movements of the people involved in attack of 6 January at Capitol of USA. The newspaper acquired a set of data linking phone location data to ad IDs, which, in conjunction with other available databases, allowed them to link the location data to the name of a device and, consequently, to its owner.
Assuming they work by its rules Apple, application developers have access to a phone's ad ID by simply requesting it from the phone. Think of an ad ID as the most well-known web cookie following you on the Internet, remember what you do and exchange information with websites along the way. Your phone has something like a cookie - this is the ad ID.
Your phone's ad ID is another digital route that leads directly to you.
If you want to protect your privacy when, for example, you go to the doctor or to an appointment, this will concern you. Many of the apps on your phone that have access to the ad ID monitor your location. While apps may promise to save these data anonymously, the New York Times article provides an example of how easy it is to associate these IDs (and all the data associated with them) with real people.
Many companies offer tools that allow anyone with data to match IDs with other databases, the newspaper explains. And these databases may contain your real name and address.
However, there is a way to mitigate the threat to your privacy. In particular, Apple offers users the option to deny applications access to the ad ID. Disabling apps' access to location data is also an important step, but there are other ways for apps to calculate your phone's location - such as network connections Wi-Fi. Also, you should not give apps access to your location data unless they need it to work, such as a map application.
To deny apps access to your phone's ad ID, you can follow these steps::
- Go to "Settings"
- press "Privacy"
- Select "Monitoring"
- Disable the option that says "Allow monitoring by applications"
It should be clarified at this point that the menu page does not immediately make it clear that this action will have the desired effect. But it does. By clicking on "Learn more" you are taken to a page that explains exactly what is happening.