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One in Five iOS Devices in the US Are Limiting Ad Tracking

Nearly as many users around the world are limiting tracking on their iPhones

October 28, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce | Mobile

Advertisers are keen on collecting audience insight wherever possible, but as technology evolves, options exist for consumers to take them off their trail and ensure privacy. According to October research, 20% of iOS devices in the US have been opted-in to the OS’s limit ad tracking feature.

Share of iOS Mobile Devices in Select Countries in the Americas that Have the

In October, a few weeks following the release of Apple’s iOS 10, mobile attribution and analytics provider adjust gathered data from iOS devices on its platform running iOS 10 or later. Overall, 18% worldwide had the limit ad tracking option enabled. The feature, which allows device users to block ad tracking, first appeared in iOS 6.

iOS devices users in the US were more likely than those elsewhere in the Americas to turn the limit ad tracking feature on, at 20.5%. Canada followed with 14.4%. The Latin American audiences studied each had tracking turned off on less than 10% of devices.

Before the rollout of iOS 10, turning the feature on did not completely eliminate ad tracking—users could still be targeted by ad networks until they updated or got a new phone with the new OS.

US Internet Users Who Use Ad Blockers, June 2016 (% of respondents)

That means that as more mobile users download iOS 10 (or get their hands on the iPhone 7) the feature could increase in popularity as its functionality increases. In iOS 10, users can fully opt out of interest-based ads by making their unique advertiser identifier number blank. Previously, iPhone users were only able to reset this number, allowing mobile ad networks to continue retargeting ads.

In general, more and more consumers are seeking ways to regain their privacy online from advertisers. In fact, it’s one reason ad blockers are becoming more and more popular. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 26% of US internet users said in June that they have an ad blocker on their desktop or laptop, and another 17% didn’t have one but said they planned to get one in the next few months.

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