Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Setting "Do Not Track" on iOS 6

This article describes how to set the "Do Not Track" browser preference in Apple Safari on the iOS platform ( on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch etc. )

This is something that I picked up from the SecurityNow podcast on my bike-ride this morning, specifically Episode 372 ( Near Field Communications ).

Wikipedia describe Do Not Track thus: -

The do not track header is a proposed HTTP header field that would request a web application to disable either their tracking or their cross-site tracking (the ambiguity has not been resolved yet) of a user. The "Do Not Track" header was originally proposed in 2009 by researchers Christopher Soghoian, Sid Stamm, and Dan Kaminsky.[1] It is currently being standardized by the W3C.[2]

and the Do Not Track website says: -

Do Not Track is a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt out of tracking by websites they do not visit, including analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. At present few of these third parties offer a reliable tracking opt out, and tools for blocking them are neither user-friendly nor comprehensive. Much like the popular Do Not Call registry, Do Not Track provides users with a single, simple, persistent choice to opt out of third-party web tracking.

The SecurityNow podcast made special mention of the fact that the US-based Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT) has noted that iOS has made good headway in the privacy arena: -

So, here's how to disable DNT in iOS6


Andy Piper said...

Personally, I'm not a strong proponent for DNT. If we all adopted it, then the freedom of the web starts to be eroded. Like it or not, advertising and personalisation does enable some of the "free" (albeit paid for by our personal data) models we see supporting services like Google and Facebook. We should be careful about the economic impacts of these kinds of technical changes - http://buzzmachine.com/2012/02/23/piracy-v-do-not-track/

Dave Hay said...

@Andy - good points and, to be fair, I was merely describing how one enables DNT on iOS, rather than making a value judgement about the use of the solution. If you listen to #SecurityNow, you'll also note that Leo and Steve feel similar to you.

Speaking purely for myself, I'd prefer to consume services for which I pay a fair price, rather than get "free" via advertising.

I'm currently listening to Spotify, and am getting to the point where their advertising will either encourage me to purchase the service ( which is surely part of the point of advertising ) or desist completely.

I also quite cheerfully fast forward past adverts on the telly, via my Humax PVR, as they also bug the heck out of me.

However, that's just me .....