Apple got caught with its hand in the cookie jar when privacy experts protested the use of a universal device identifier, or UDID, to track the online preferences of iPhone and iPad users and Apple disabled this tracking feature after hackers compromised systems belonging to digital media firm Bluetoad and made off with close to a million device IDs.
It looks like device tracking is back with iOS 6, courtesy of a new tracking technology: IDFA, or identifier for advertisers.
Like the UDID, the IDFA uniquely identifies your Apple device.
Websites that you browse with your iPhone or iPad device can request the IDFA. Unlike UDID, however, the IDFA can’t be traced back to individuals, it merely links a pattern of online behavior with a specific device.
Also unlike the UDID, IDFA can be disabled from within iOS, though Apple leaves it enabled, by default.
If you want to turn off device tracking using the IDFA on your iOS6 device, do the following:
- Click on Settings.
- Click on General to access the General Settings.
- Click About
- Scroll down and click on Advertising.
- Set Limit Ad Tracking to “ON”.