| Cult of Mac

Safari 11 privacy feature gets advertisers fuming


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Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple is out to “sabotage the economic model of the internet” as it protects users from shady tracking while browsing the internet, according to several organizations representing digital advertisers.

Six different digital ad and marketing trade associations recently signed and sent an open letter to Apple opposing a pending Safari update aimed at protecting how your browsing data is used.

Enable Do Not Track, Block Cookies, For Better Mobile Safari Privacy [iOS Tips]


Privacy Mobile Safari

While other web browsers exist and thrive on iOS, Safari is the one Apple includes with it’s iOS system software, and it’s probably the one most of us use often, no small thanks to the fact that it’s integrated at the system level. Every click through, unless third-party apps (like Mailbox) allow something different, takes us to Safari as our main browser.

Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to protect more of your privacy, you’ll want to enable the Do Not Track feature in mobile Safari, as well as possibly block cookies, which are bits of code that store your preferences on website servers for return visits.

Google Finally Settles ‘Safarigate’ Tracking Controversy With 37 States



The fines just keep mounting for Google. In the wake of last year’s Safarigate, in which Google was revealed to be tracking millions of iOS & Mac Safari users against their knowledge, Google first agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to the FTC, the largest such fine in history. But it’s not stopping there, with Google now agreeing to pay $17 million to settle the issue with 37 states.

Clear Your Browsing History And Web Data From Mobile Safari [iOS Tips]


Safari Data

With all the sites we visit on a daily basis on our iPhones and iPads, we are capturing and storing where we visit in the background of every web page we see. You may want to clear your browsing history or other stored web data from your iPhone from time to time, if you’re of a security or privacy turn of mind.

iOS makes it fairly simple to do so; here’s how.

Apple Starting To Reject Apps That Use Cookies To Track Users



Apple has been historically fickle about how it lets marketers and developers track iOS users through apps downloaded from the App Store. After all of the privacy concerns were raised about the UDID device identifier back in 2011, a better solution never presented itself.

Apple eventually introduced its own Advertising Identifier for iOS device tracking purposes, but marketers still favored the unique, permanent nature of the UDID. The UDID worked so well because it was a device-specific identifier that could never be changed. Athough developers were technically banned from using the UDID to track iOS devices more than a year ago, many, many apps still use the deprecated method today.

Apple is reportedly starting to reject apps that use web cookies to track user activity in iOS. Could this mean a reinvigorated push towards the Advertising Identifier again?

Google Could Be Fined By FTC For Working Around Millions Of Safari Users’ Privacy Settings


Wall Street Journal's illustration of how Google's tracking worked on Safari.
Wall Street Journal's illustration of how Google's tracking worked on Safari.

A couple of months ago, The Wall Street Journal raised a huge stink when they reported that Google was tracking millions of iOS & Mac Safari users against their wishes using a loophole in the way that Safari’s cookie handling algorithm.

Google on its parts always said it had done nothing wrong, and used known functionality in Safari to make sure their advertising cookies were always stored locally on users’ machines, even if their cookie settings were set to private. Looks like that might not have been enough for the FTC, though, who are now looking to start doling out fines to Google over the issue.

Google Tracked Millions Of iOS & Mac Safari Users Against Their Wishes



What with the whole Path address book debacle, this isn’t a good week to be caught up in a user privacy scandal on iOS as far as public perception is concerned. Google better batten down the hatches then, as it has just been discovered that they have been exploiting a loophole in the way Safari blocks cookies to bypass the privacy settings of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac owners. Ouch.

Eat Your Home Screen With These Instagram Cookies



Today’s chunk of Best Thing Ever are these tasty looking Instagrahams – cookies inspired by photo app Instagram.

Thing is, the basic recipe could take you anywhere you want to go in this strange new world of edible application icons.

If you’ve got the colored fondant icing and the skill to apply it, you could make yourself an entire home screen’s worth of iconified cookies. Which we would totally love to see, by the way, so if you do that, let us know.

In the meantime, you’ll find me browsing the archives at Bakerella, which has just become my new favorite baked goods blog.