MJ Morning Show

Weekdays 6:00AM - 10:00AM

Do you know what a maid is?  No, I’m not talking about somebody who cleans your house or serves you dinner.  These days, a MAID refers to a unique “Mobile Advertising ID” identifier buried in your cell phone.  Pesky marketing hacks are always on the prowl for your personal data, and they don’t care at all about protecting your privacy.

Those details are gold for a ton of online businesses.  They don’t know who you are, but they don’t care, because all they’re interested in is tracking your behavior, and this MAID feature lets them.  It grabs data such as where you live, what your searches look like, and what you like to shop for.

For a long time, there was nothing to be done to block your MAID either in legitimate or nefarious advertising and marketing campaigns, but Apple has been somewhat successful by at least allowing iOS users to have input into who can gain access.  But if a crook can match the MAID to the actual person, it could be a real nightmare.

Generally speaking, companies or ad agencies shouldn’t be able to find out who the MAID is attached to, because there shouldn’t be any personally identifiable information (PII).  But Vice’s Motherboard discovered one company offers the linking of MAIDs to real people through PII.  Brad Mack, CEO of data broker BIGDBM told “Vice”, “We have one of the largest repositories of current, fresh MAIDS<>PII in the USA.

“We have one of the largest repositories of current, fresh MAIDS<>PII in the USA,” Brad Mack, CEO of data broker BIGDBM told us when we asked about the capabilities of the product while posing as a customer. “All BIGDBM USA data assets are connected to each other,” Mack added, explaining that MAIDs are linked to full name, physical address, and their phone, email address, and IP address if available. The dataset also includes other information, “too numerous to list here,” Mack wrote.

Digital expert and radio host Kim Komando says this information can be linked to your MAID: your full name, physical address, phone numberemail address and IP address.

To shut this transmission of data off, Komando offers this fix for Apple iOS:

Open Settingspush Privacy and Security. Scroll down and push Apple Advertising. Disable personalized ads by toggling the switch next to Personalized Ads to the left. Push View Ad Targeting Information to reveal the information Apple has collected from you.
For Android devices do this:
Push the Settings icon. Scroll to Google. Go to the Ads option and toggle the switch for Opt out of Ads Personalization )verbiage might vary slightly). When the change goes into effect, advertisers will see zeros in place of your Advertising ID.