Coincidental or Targeted Ad for News+?

Last week I purchased a new pair of running shoes. I did not search the Internet because I already knew what I wanted.

Today while reading the news in Apple News multiple articles from Runner’s World appeared in the news feed labeled as News+ (I am not using News+). I’ve never seen articles or ads show up from Runner’s World in my news feed in Apple News until today. This must be coincidental because, again, I did not search the web for running shoes, Apple does not track you across the web, and I did not pay with Apple Pay. I DID use Apple Maps to find the New Balance shoe store. I also run nearly every day. The workout data is tracked in the Health App through my Apple Watch.

Coincidence or targeted based on my use of Apple Maps and/or on device AI using my workout data? If it is on device exclusive processing with targeted relevant ads, I don’t object. But I was surprised by this because if it is on device tracking/targeting this is the first time I’ve experienced it.

I just got a suggestion on Twitter for a drug for a condition I went to the doctor for this morning. I did some searching using DuckDuckGo and the Brave browser this morning, so this shouldn’t have been how they knew. Perhaps it was through my credit card company, Apple maps that I used to go there (though there are a dozen physicians’ offices in the building). Perhaps my ISP since I started navigation before I left my home network, perhaps my cell provider when I looked up the address when I entered the appointment on my phone last week.
Who knows anymore.

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I got the same Runner’s World suggestion and haven’t bought a new pair yet this year. I also don’t follow the magazine or the general “running” topic in the News app. I do run almost every day, tracking in the Health app, and have signed up for the News+ trial. Runner’s World is one of the magazine’s included in News+ and it is/almost spring in the US so those could be broad factors. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Siri is considering run workouts in the Health app since that data is on-device and, according to Apple, that’s all they use in their AI (Siri) suggestions.


I have a VISA, but I’m sure that article (still) applies.

It’s sad, but virtually all data about us is for sale by someone. Facebook regularly purchases financial data from multiple sources including the top three credit bureaus. Anyone who wants to write a check can obtain it. It is impossible to prevent our information from being collected. IMO, our only hope is the government will take steps to regulate how that info is used.

People were shocked in 1999, when Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, said: “You have zero privacy anyway,” “Get over it.”

Turns out he was just prescient.

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