Apple Launches Opt-Out Tool for Targeted iAds

Apple launched an opt-out tool for targeted ads for its new iAd mobile advertising service on Monday. The tool allows users to stop Apple from using any personal information from their browsing and app usage when delivering iAd ads to iOS apps that have integrated the new network.

Users who opt out will still get iAd ads in those apps that rely on the service for their revenue stream, but they won’t be targeted. Users who do not opt out will have targeted ads based on personal information, but the information is used in aggregate, meaning that the user is not personally identified.

To opt out, users simply have to visit in a browser on their iOS 4 device. If you do so, you’ll get a message with Apple’s branding saying, “You have successfully opted out.” If you pull up that URL in a non-iOS 4 device, you’ll get a message saying, “Unsuccessful Opt Out.”

You’ll need to use that URL for each device you wish to opt out.

According to Apple’s KnowledgeBase article:

  • You may still see the same number of ads as before, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests.
  • You may still see ads related to the content in an application or based on other non-personal information.
  • If you use more than one Apple mobile device running iOS 4, you will have to opt out from each device individually.
  • Opting out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks.

iAd is being introduced as part of iOS 4, which was released to users today.