Apple wants to serve up ads for only what you can afford

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Photo Credit: Andrew Nesbitt / Flickr February 2007 / (MGN Online)

(CBS News) – Apple was awarded a patent Thursday for a system allowing it to deliver mobile ads to customers based on the amount of money the company thinks you have in your bank account, CBS San Francisco reports.

Apple’s new technology is designed to “target groups of users sharing a common profile which may be selected to increase the likelihood of the users responding to the advertisements and purchasing the advertised goods and services,” the patent application read.

“An advantage of such targeted advertising is that advertisements for goods and services which particular users cannot afford, are not delivered to these users.”

Apple could use the technology to compare user profiles “based on the amount of pre-paid credit available to each user.”

The technology helps target shoppers with ads for items they can afford (and not ones they can’t) by tracking their credit and debit card. Credit status could be determined by accessing “a credit recording system,” “account management means arranged to identify actual credit associated with the user,” or purchase history of the items served up in ads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made recents statements saying the company is not interested in monetizing users’ personal or financial data.
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