|Apple Stirs Up Mobile Privacy Debate|
|Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:05|
Adweek : Technology >>
Apple is apparently cracking down on mobile privacy. But that crackdown may be inadvertedly causing a shift in the mobile targeting tactics -- which may be better or worse for privacy-concerned users and advocates.
Indeed, with privacy in mind, the company is reportedly rejecting applications submitted to its App Store which access UDIDs (or unique device identification numbers), which is likely to lead to a rise in alternative mobile tracking methods. The question is, how privacy sensitive are those methods?
Earlier this week, TechCrunch wrote that, as Apple had previously indicated, it was starting to deprecate UDIDs, leaving app developers and advertisers searching for other approaches. In the wake of the news, some have floated the possibility of using a slew of other complex targeting tactics, such as MAC (Media Access Control) addresses, HTML 5 cookie tracking or open source solutions.
Ironically, these alternate, sophisticated means of device recognition
(or what some have called "digital fingerprinting") has created an opportunity for some in the mobile world to make bold -- and perhaps shaky -- claim of being more pro-privacy, since these methods don't rely on the controversial UDID. However, digital fingerprinting potentially involves the collection of hundreds of other data points flowing off of a mobile device -- which could set off just as many or more privacy alarms.
For example, device indentification company Blue Cava, claims that its practice of creating "digital snapshots" of users is both more precise for ad targeting -- and more respectful of privacy. According to Blue Cava, creating digital snapshots involves capturing basic desktop and mobile device data like browser settings like fonts and time zones and other hardware-based information, allows the company to uniquely identify devices for targeting online advertising -- and combating fraud. (The UDID is one mechanism it uses for identifying...(Read more)
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