Why Your Smart Phone May Be Tracking Your Activity to Cater Ads

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If you’ve noticed some new pop-ups on your iPhone lately when opening your apps, there’s a reason for that!

“Apple and Google have changed the way of sharing information and are now requiring anyone using an IOS system to ask you permission to track you,” said Craig Agranoff, a South Florida technology expert.

Late last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a Tweet about the changes we’re seeing, saying in part: “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used.”

That now applies to any app that tracks your location and online activity, from social media to mapping, shopping and banking apps.

“Imagine everywhere you went, you left a little breadcrumb,“ said Agranoff. “They are gathering up all of the breadcrumbs and putting them together to create a perfect online persona.”

It’s all in the name of advertising. Agranoff says companies use the data they collect from tracking the places you visit and online searches to learn about the things you like or might buy – sharing that information with advertisers.

They can still do that, but with the changes made they now have to ask your permission first.

“If you don’t have that you’re still going to get ads,” said Agranoff, “But they are ads you never wanted before.”

So, if you get a pop-up add asking for permission to track us, what should you do?

“I hit allow,” said Agranoff. “I don’t mind if they know what I’m looking for. I’d rather see more things that I’m looking for or about to buy than getting things for reverse mortgages or pills that I don’t need.”

So, if you visit a jewelry store, a flower shop, a catering company, and banquet hall then you can probably expect to start seeing wedding related ads on your social media feeds.

But, the apps and companies are limited on what they can see about you.

“It’s important to note that this does not contain your name. It looks the same to every app,” said Agranoff. “They don’t know it’s Craig or Kris, but it’s for advertisers to connect the dots as to what would be relevant to serve you.”

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