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Apple Pushback Against Databaiting

Gathering data may change drastically if we are to believe Apple

That technology companies, most it seems, are using user data for whatever can bring revenue or profit should be no great surprise by now. Rather it has become such an integrated practice on a variety of platforms that simply doing something to counteract this can seem refreshing.

Mobile apps as an example have used identifier Identifier for Apps (IDFA) to profile users by default. Apple probably should not have allowed this in the first place, however one can see why they did.

An app store full of free apps? Sounds great.

I have before described a practice I call databaiting.

Databaiting I would suggest is: to entice someone to submit their data by eliciting an emotional response.

Although Apple is describing this as eliminating mobile ads as we know them now, they created this in the first place to get more users onto their platform and entice developers to make applications for their platform without having to pay the cost or ask the user to make the cost.

This change from Apple is described as a giant victory for privacy, and in one way it is.

If you have to practically opt in for all advertisement, rather than opt out, that would make a huge difference.

IDFA (Identifier for Apps) is part of what you get with certain application on your mobile phone.

Globally it is estimated around 80 billion dollars are spent on advertisements that appear in app-installations.

The big difference in iOS14, Apple’s new operative system is that you actively have to opt in.

In this manner it is a clever move by Apple, but it is possible how to wonder how this will affect the informal economy built around apps and the sale of data whether illicit or licit.

This may lead to more irresponsible actors being driven out of the market.

IDFA is a unique and random number tied to the user unit that makes advertisers and data aggregators able to get an overview of how users have accessed on an aggregated level.

It remains to be seen what will happen, however this could be a good move to make data sharing more responsible.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 391. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

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