It’s Time to ‘Opt Out’ of Invasive Tracking with the New Apple Update

MapLight | April 29, 2021

Most of us spend hours every day on our phones: checking emails, scrolling through social media, and talking to friends and family. But did you know that apps on your phone like Facebook track what you do in other apps? What you like, what you share, and what you click is monitored by Facebook across applications.  That’s what enables companies to serve you ads just moments after you conduct a related search — even in another app. This cross-app tracking is a dangerous invasion of privacy that allows Facebook and other apps to collect personal information about you to hyper-target you with advertisements and content that keep you on their platform for as long as possible. You can now opt out of this cross-app tracking with a new software update for iPhones. Just be sure to click this button when you see the new notification on your iPhone. Companies like Facebook that profit from our data are counting on us to miss this notification, but we must opt out to curtail the mass-monetization of our personal information through surveillance advertising. This toxic business model of surveillance advertising is the biggest driver of societal harms online -- from privacy abuses and the amplification of false or outrageous content, to predatory and manipulative targeting. Surveillance advertising, and the disinformation it creates, is not a flaw in Big Tech’s business model. It is the business model.  Together, we can opt out with this new software update and make a dent in Big Tech’s surveillance advertising.