As if to head off the "do not track list" suggested by the FTC at the past Apple is advising users that tracking is a no-fly-zone. Microsoft has now made the "do not track" feature the default on its new mobile browser, and thus, it looks as if the users win this round or battle, but the war I assure you is hardly over - it's just begun in fact. Okay so, let's talk shall we?
On Jun 9, 2012 there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled; "Apple Set to Unveil App Tracking Tool," by Jessica E. Vascellaro which noted that; "App developers are worried about losing revenue if they can't target mobile ads," and they need your location data to do that, in other words they need to be able to track you. Of course, as a user, well you don't much want to join their "hunter games" so to speak do you? Not hardly, so, why not turn the tables on the trackers?
Yes, I am suggesting that we start tracking the trackers where we "the users" become the hunters and hunt the hunters, together, "power to the users" was the famous line in Tron. Now then, the app makers can still get together and agree to share their data and do so as "partners" as most user agreements say; "we may share your data with our partners" and who is to say how many partners that might be, one, ten, on-hundred, or the population of Obama's hometown of Chicago?
If so, they will by-pass Apple's new App Tracking Tool, essentially rendering it basically obsolete, as well as the FTC's do not track list. Also if you are running another device with the Microsoft style default scheme, who is to say that your favorite app may have you agreeing to change that setting, thus, the trackers win - much like the infrared seeking hunters in Predator did, until the main character started hunting them, in the end it was more or less a victory for the good guys, but the costs were great.
If we cannot trust the systems we use, as users, then we will have to opt out, but some of these apps are pretty convenient, powerful, and extremely efficient time savers. Should we stay or should we go, should we opt in or opt out? The choice is yours but realize there are serious ramifications as a hunted consumer. Please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Serious Internet Issues. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net/