How to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads

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Ads everywhere
Apple targets users with personalized ads, too.
Photo: Jo San Diego/Unsplash CC

A French lobbyist group is accusing Apple of hypocrisy over new privacy measures in iOS 14, which make it harder for other companies to track users. Why? Because Apple also operates a feature called Personalized Advertising, which capitalizes on user data to display targeted ads within apps.

Want to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads? Here’s how you do it. (And everything else you need to know about the new complaint.)

Advertisers panic as iPhone users turn off GPS tracking

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iOS 13.3 in beta
iOS 13 has made it easier for users to shut down location tracking.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Location data, for a long time a river of gold that enriched companies with digital ad revenues, is starting to dry up as more and more consumers deactivate location tracking on their smartphones.

The growing shortage of GPS data became pronounced shortly after the launch iOS 13, which features a pop-up option to cut off tracking if your iPhone detects an app gathering data on your whereabouts.

iOS beta adds off switch for iPhone 11 Location Services

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iPhone 11 Max Pro cameras
The next iOS update will have an additional off switch for Location Services after recently data privacy concerns.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple is testing an iOS fix for Location Services that will potentially allay any privacy concerns among iPhone 11 users.

Apple makes privacy part of its brand yet found itself answering questions when a security news site in December discovered the iPhone 11 Pro continued to track user location even after all Location Services toggles were switched off.

How to keep stalkers from tracking you on Instagram

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Who's tracking your Instagram movements?
Who's tracking your Instagram movements?
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Anyone can tap your profile in Instagram and see where you were when you took your snapshots. Creeped out, yet?

Every time you take a picture for Instagram, the photo-sharing app keeps track of where you are by default. Here’s how to remove the location data automatically added to your snaps and keep stalkers from tracking you on Instagram.

How to find out which Mac apps are using your location

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Find out when your Mac is looking at your location data.
Find out when your Mac is looking at your location data.
Photo: Apple

As our digital lives converge across mobile and desktop devices like our iPhones and Macbooks, we rely on them knowing where we are at any given time. Safari suggestions, for example, count on knowing your location, as do any Maps searches or such.

You might want to know when your Location data is being used, however, for privacy reason. If you enable the Location Services menu bar, you’ll be able to see when any app is accessing your private location data, making it more possible to lock down any sources you don’t want using it.

Here’s how to get that menu bar notice working.

An Algorithm Can Now Predict Where Your iPhone Will Be In 24 Hours

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mapsiphone

We already know that companies can track our location in real-time through a smartphone’s GPS and serve deals or ads relevant to your location, but what if your iPhone could predict where you’re going to go in 24 hours?

A group of researchers have created an algorithm that uses location tracking data on people’s phones to predict where they will be 24 hours from the present. Shockingly, the average error is within a mere 20 meters.  

Turn Off Location Services On Your iPhone And Save Some Battery Life [iOS Tips]

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Location Services

Location services are really an integral part of a ton of iOS apps, using the internal GPS system to add Instagram photos to a map, checkin with FourSquare or Facebook, or let your friends know where you are with one of many “on my way” apps, like Glympse or Twist.

If you’re battery is dying, however, the location services are the first thing you should turn off, as they suck up a lot of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’s power needs, what with their background data sending and receiving and such.

Here’s how to turn them off.

Like Apple, Amazon Disses Google Maps In Upcoming Kindle Fire Revision

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Like Apple, Amazon decides against Google Maps for upcoming Kindle Fire revision.
Amazon follows Apple's lead and decides against Google Maps for upcoming Kindle Fire revision.

Apple’s decision to ditch Google Maps in favor of its own mapping technology in iOS 6 wasn’t much a surprise. However, Amazon’s decision to reject Google Maps in its second generation Kindle Fire tablet is a bit of surprise – particularly since the Kindle Fire is an Android device.

Unlike Apple, Amazon isn’t developing its own mapping systems. Instead, the new Kindle Fire will rely on mapping functionality from Nokia. Unlike the original Kindle Fire, which had no innate location services or maps app, the new version will sport  location-based services, though whether they will be based integrated GPS or solely on Wi-Fi triangulation (like the Wi-Fi only iPad models and the iPod touch) is still an unanswered question.