The WSJ crew strikes again:
The iPhone version of the music app Pandora sent information to eight trackers. It sent location data to seven of these, a unique phone ID to three, and demographic data to two.
A few things to note when reading this piece: first, the suggestion that a "written privacy notice" is a solution is laughable; second, the notion of a company analyzing its own customers to provide better service versus a company selling our data to other companies for profit; third, "free apps" are not "free", and before you chastise app developers, think how advertising is the only source of revenues for them, and what that entails.
There is a constant refrain in the article, developers claiming that they "do not" tie the phone's unique, undeletable ID to a person, or they "are not" doing so. Nobody said they "cannot". That's because they can. I don't know about other platforms but on the iPhone, you must sign on in order to get any apps from the App Store, regardless of whether the app is free or not; but your App Store account is your credit card so your phone ID can definitely be tied to your credit card -- and sorry to say, the credit card leads very far indeed. Apple (nor Google) is not a neutral player in this game because Apple (and Google) runs large advertising businesses.
Thanks WSJ for running such a wonderful series. When are they giving out Pulitzers?