Apple selling targeted ads, but their new privacy policies shows they think different about tracking

“Fire up the new Apple News service for the first time on your iPhone, and it’ll ask for your favorite topics and news outlets. Use it over time, and you’ll find that it is behaving like your personal news recommendation engine,” Andrea Peterson and Hayley Tsukayama report for The Washington Post. “Read a lot about gardening, and you’ll see more stories about hardy perennials. Click on every story about the Red Sox? Get ready for more bullpen analysis. But eventually you may start to wonder — just how much does this app know about me?”

“You may think you know the answer, given that we live in a world where our every click and scroll is obsessively tracked by tech companies eager to sell us personalized ads. Apple, too, has been employing a small amount of targeted advertising since at least 2010,” Peterson and Tsukayama report. “But in a revamped privacy policy Web site, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post, Apple on Tuesday attempts to lay out how its philosophy on data collection distinguishes itself from its tech industry rivals.”

“A new section on the Apple News app states that it collects data on what each user is reading so it can offer personalized headlines and ads. But the service does not tie reading habits to an Apple account and uses a unique identifier — which functions only within the News app — to send you targeted ads. Readers can also remove a record of their reading history from their device,” Peterson and Tsukayama report. “‘It goes a long way to mitigating the potential risks involved in the type of tracking they’re doing,’ said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s statement regarding Apple News app and privacy, verbatim:

Protecting the privacy and security of your information is a priority for everyone at Apple. We work hard to collect only the data we need to make your experience better, and when we do collect data we believe it’s important for you to know what we’re collecting and why we need it, so you can make informed choices. Apple News, like every Apple product, is designed around these principles.

Apple collects information about how you use Apple News in order to tailor features to your personal interests. These features include For You—where you will find a personal news feed that highlights the best stories for you from your favorite channels or topics; Explore—where you will see suggested channels or topics we recommend you follow; and Search—which includes suggested search topics based on trending issues. Apple is able to make these features possible by collecting information about which stories you read, save, or share, and the topics and publications you follow.

We understand that the articles you read are personal, so we designed News so your reading activity is not linked to other Apple services, and the data we collect is associated with an identifier specific to Apple News. Recommendations in For You are made based on the information stored on your device and are not collected or stored by Apple. To remove your reading history from your device, tap “Clear” in the History tab of the Saved section of News. This will also reset the identifier used for Apple News.
As a convenience for you, Apple News uses iCloud to keep aspects of your experience up to date on all of your devices. For example, News will use iCloud to remember which stories you’ve read in For You, which channels and topics you follow in Favorites, your reading history, and your reading preferences so that you can enjoy the same News experience from any of your devices. You may disable this capability at any time in Settings. If you have disabled this feature, please note that your subscriptions, read articles, and reading history are still backed up to iCloud if iCloud Backup is enabled.

So we can provide you with updates about breaking stories, you may also provide us with your email address. You can change your email preferences and opt in or out of receiving emails about new Apple News stories on

In order to deliver great content to you from leading publishers for free, News is ad supported. We respect your privacy and if you’d rather not see ads in News tailored to your interests, you can opt out of targeted advertising by following the guidance provided at You can also reset your advertising identifier at any time. The articles you read in News will only be used to send advertisements to you when you are in the News App. Apple collects information about the ads you see and interact with in order to report to advertisers and provide them with information about the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

Apple may also use information about your use of Apple News to pay publishers and prevent or take action against activities that are, or may be, in breach of the iOS Software License Agreement or applicable law.

We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. For example, we may aggregate your non-personal information with that of other News users in order to improve the service.

Any information collected or used by Apple is in accordance with our privacy policy (

Disclosure to Third Parties
We do not share any of your individual data with third parties. We are obligated to make certain non-personal information and non-identifiable aggregate information available to strategic partners that work with Apple to provide our products and services, or that help Apple market to customers. However, only aggregated data is provided to these third parties; no personal data is shared. For example, Apple may share aggregate reports with News publishers to help them understand the way users read or use their content. Apple may also share information with strategic partners who provide services such as information processing, providing customer service, assessing your interest in our products and services, and conducting customer research or satisfaction surveys on our behalf. These companies are obligated to protect your information and may be located wherever Apple operates.

Apple News also allows you to share News content with other websites or social networks. When you share Apple News content to other places like websites or social networks, that information is governed by those websites’ or social networks’ privacy policies. If you do not want this information to be shared with third parties, do not share News content to third-party websites or social networks.

Source: Apple Inc.

Apple: Hey Siri and Live Photos data stays only on your device to ensure privacy – September 12, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden supports Apple’s stance on customer privacy – June 17, 2015
Mossberg: Apple’s latest product is privacy – June 12, 2015
Apple looks to be building an alternative to the Google-branded, hand-over-your-privacy ‘Internet Experience’ – June 11, 2015
Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dale E.” for the heads up.]


    1. LOL. No, son. Every human being alive comes with a bias and with a perspective. That is why many news sources are needed to get at the most accurate picture possible.

      You are a socialist, or at least you support one, judging by your avatar. Do I need to say anything further? You would punish the successful for succeeding and you would make millions more dependent on government. You are an enemy of progress and a foe to the human spirit. Sad.

      1. Bernie is a Social Democrat. Most Americans have no concept of the difference between that and the Cold War era vernacular understanding of the term.
        Murdoch hired Roger Ailes to implement a Republican biased talk format disguised as news. That is far different from an experiential bias all people have- it is quite intentional.

  1. So if I understand this correctly, a unique id is created for the user in the News App that has no direct relation to the Apple ID. How does this then allow a News App you have on several iOS devices you own to have the same ‘preferences’ for news? Or is it the intention to have slightly different preferences depending on how often you use each device?

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