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Apple will let you opt out of iOS 15’s most controversial new feature

Apple will ask users for permission before serving them with personalised ads in iOS 15, in a welcome change of tack from earlier beta instalments.

9to5Mac notes that, while the Personalised Ads feature was automatically enabled in initial versions, Apple is now asking for permission.

While that may have always been the plan (iOS betas don’t always represent how the final features will appear), it’s good to know the company is practicing what it preaches in giving users the option.

The new system will see the stock apps like the App Store, Stocks and Apple News showing users products they may be interested in, rather than regular random advertisements. They will be based upon previous purchases and other factors like the news stories people read.

iOS 15 personalised ads

It’s a controversial feature for Apple to integrate given its previous stances on user data unequivocally not being part of its business model. Apple has often extolled its own virtues, saying its is not interested in user data.

In a 2019 interview with ABC in the United States, Cook said: “Privacy in itself has become a crisis. It’s of that proportion—a crisis.”

He added: “You are not our product. Our products are iPhones and iPads. We treasure your data. We wanna help you keep it private and keep it safe.”

Cook has also hit out hit out at companies like Facebook over the use of targeted ads, which he believes has led to the spread of misinformation.

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform,” Cook said in January.

Now Apple is set to join the ranks of Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley giants who’ve made their users’ data a money-spinning tool. At least Apple is giving users the option to opt-out of those personalised advertisements.

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