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Apple approves blocking ads in Apple News

Been Choice, an iOS app which blocks ads while browsing, also blocks ads appearing in other apps on a system, including Apple's own Apple News.

It is currently only available on the US app store, and works by funnelling all the phone’s web traffic through a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN is run by Been itself, which then strips out the adverts before they arrive at the user’s phone.

A similar thing was attempted by AdBlock Plus on Google's Android system, but was quickly removed from the Google Play Store. Google said it “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorised manner”.

It is unclear whether Apple knows Been Choice blocks ads in Apple News or not, but the Been Choice iTunes page explains exactly what it can do.

There is another ethical issue with this principle of work - if a user wants all the ads in various apps to be blocked, it means that all traffic must run through the ad blocker’s own servers. For some users, that may be a step too far in terms of trust, although Been’s co-founder, Dave Yoon, promised that the company wouldn’t store any of the intercepted information:

“While we inspect headers and the body, no user content is stored, and our filtering is done on the fly,” he told TechCrunch. “This approach may be more familiar in its corporate form. For example, companies use deep packet inspection on their managed devices to ensure that sensitive information never leaves internal corporate networks.”