Q: I absolutely loathe ads, especially when I Google something and when I get to Facebook or whatever, I start to see ads for that very thing I did a search for. How can I stop Big Brother from watching me?
A: It is indeed a problem which is undoubtably getting worse, and the culprits are essentially any company that offers you something for “free”. As long as you remember that the service you’re using isn’t the product, you and your data are, it all makes sense. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
Thankfully the latest update to iOS – 14.5.1 – offers a solution: shortly after updating your iPhone or iPad, you’ll be getting a warning when you open an app that tracks you across your phone. Some apps like Instagram and Facebook want to keep doing this, so they’re not too happy with that feature being potentially disabled …and will try fear tactics like telling you these apps might no longer be free if you turn off tracking across apps and websites.
But at least you now have the power. If you don’t mind Big Advertising Brother, simply tap on ‘Allow’.
If you’d rather not be monitored by companies who use your data to sell advertising, tap on ‘Ask App Not to Track’.
And you don’t have to wait for apps to request your permission: go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking …and turn off ‘Allow Apps to Request to Track’, thereby disabling all ability to track you outside of any serv-ice’s app or website in one fell swoop.
Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him on 077-8866-0407.