Thank You for Spying on Me, Twitter

Thank you for spying on me, Twitter. I understand you’ll be doing this to customize and improve my Twitter experience. What’s that? Of course I want you to scan all the apps installed on my mobile device and send that data back to your servers!

Are you serious? Yeah, Twitter says they’re introducing this new “feature” for our benefit but clearly this data is going to be of most use to advertisers so they can target ads better.

Which brings up a point. I’m not against the idea of targeted ads at all. I don’t want to see certain types of ads and there are things I AM interested in. But DO NOT make this an opt-OUT program. Unless it’s a program where you deliver bags of gold to my house, just assume I don’t want to be included in your new program, policy, or whatever.


Don’t Want to be Tracked?

It’s not too hard to turn off this “feature” – there’s a couple of methods.

On Apple devices, you can disable “interest-based” iAds on your computer and mobile devices – this will block Twitter from opting you in to this program. There are instructions here on the Apple support site to disable the feature on your iOS device, Apple TV as well as your Mac. Here’s the pertinent info for your iOS device:

Go to Settings/Privace/Advertising (the advertising link is way at the bottom)

Thank You for Spying on Me, Twitter
Just make sure that option for Limit Ad Tracking is turned ON.

TechCrunch has a good article that gives instructions on how to do the same on Android devices as well as what to do if Twitter already pushed this out to you.

Remember Minority Report?

My buddy Matt and I were just talking about those creepy in-store ads that were in Minority Report, you know the ones that detected your presence and displayed a huge ad based on your identity. You’d better believe that’s coming soon. I can’t wait for the incredibly embarrassing spectacles that are coming. Here’s how to turn off location-based ads on your IOS device.

Go to Settings/Privacy/Location Services/System Services (again, this is at the very bottom)

Thank You for Spying on Me, Twitter
This time, you want to make sure the feature is turned OFF.

OK, Now My Privacy Is Ensured

Hardly. Your digital privacy is most likely a doomed concept in the not so distant future. But that doesn’t mean we need to make it easy for Them. Just remember, you can’t take the sky from me.