Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Apr 2010 10:42 UTC
Apple While we were al busy getting knickers in twists over section 3.3.1 of the new iPhone developer agreement, Apple hoped to sneak another, possibly more far-reaching change past us. All Things Digital, however, got hold of section 3.3.9, which could effectively kill all third party ad networks - granting an insurmountable advantage to Apple's own iAd network.
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OK, you need to re-read that section. In no way does it say these programs can not transmit data without your consent. It just prevents them from doing so without Apple's permission, which Apple will not give most likely. This is not a move to increase privacy for the user, it is to prevent competition with IAd. Apple does not care to protect your privacy, they just want to kill off competition.

Apple has a tight control over their products, under the guise of improving user experience. While that may be a side effect of that control, I do not believe it to be the real reason. I believe the real reason is because Apple can not stand the idea of another company/person making money off of their products, especially if it is in an area that they themselves could easily be doing. "Someone can write a small app that collects ad data and can sit back and rake in money? We can't have that, we should be getting all that free money." I believe the only real reason Apple even allows 3rd parties to develop apps for their products, is because they know that they could never develop/provide the myriad of different apps needed to satisfy all their users needs and desires.

Section 3.3.9
Point 1, I'm allowed to collect and use data only to support my application. Collecting or using data for some other purpose will get me banned. I'm okay with that.

Point 2, I'm allowed to provide or disclose that data to 3rd parties for providing services or functionality for my application but only if I receive express user consent. I'm okay with that.

"You may only provide or disclose User Data to third parties as necessary for providing services or functionality for the Application that collected the User Data, and then only if You receive express user consent."

Maybe I'm miss interrupting the "only if You receive express user consent".

So at this point I can collect anything I need for my application, but I can only provide or disclose that information after I've gotten the user to okay it. I'm okay with that.

Point 3, limits access to Device Data unfortunately this excerpt doesn't define Device Data so we don't know exactly what that is. But I feel it's safe to assume Device Data is not User Data since Apple is differentiating them. So I'm not allowed to collect Device Data and disclose it to a 3rd party for processing or analysis. I'm okay with that.

Point 4, I have to tell users what I'm doing with their data. I'm okay with that.

Point 5, I have to take steps to not loose their data. I'm okay with that.

Two things,
1) I don't see how this prevents me from putting banner ads, either home grown or from other ad networks, in my apps. As long as I don't collect user or device information. If I need to collect user information I first need get their permission and second tell them what I'm using the information for.
2) I don't see how making devs accountable for the information they collect is a bad thing for users.

I don't disagree that Apple is acting in Apple's best interest. Apple is a business trying to squeeze as much money as it can out of the iPhone. They wouldn't be a good company if they were. But that doesn't mean it hurts the end user. Sometimes Apple's best interest is also the user's best interest.

Apple has done some nasty stuff but this is FUD.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:

1) I don't see how this prevents me from putting banner ads, either home grown or from other ad networks, in my apps. As long as I don't collect user or device information. If I need to collect user information I first need get their permission and second tell them what I'm using the information for.

It will be like people have been saying about using other programming languages to create iPhone/iPad/iPod apps. Steve weighed in decisively and confirmed the worst FUD.

I actually agree with you on this point, that technically people will find a way of getting over the issue, but how long will your user use your application after he/she sees a message telling them that you are collecting data about them? Using iAds you will not need to display that.
How will the ad networks like that often they loose all data that allowed them to serve up relevant ads? And location is very much Device Data, so say good bye to geo aware ads.

Reply Parent Score: 2

marine6680 Member since:

Not that I want ads in my apps, but... If that entire restriction also applied to Apple, I could see your point. Yes this does protect you from 3rd parties gathering and transmitting data without permission. Thing is, targeted ads need the info, and non-targeted ads are about pointless, because its very hit and miss (mostly miss) with providing an ad that suits the users interests. On the outside, this policy seems to protect users, but only from 3rd party data miners, not Apple's data mining. Apple will mine data and use it to make money and without your consent. The only thing this clause does is prevent 3rd parties from making ad money. This monopolizes ad revenue for Apple only. Because how many people are going to allow data mining when asked? Not many I would bet. Besides, the dev agreement states you must ask for permission to transmit app relevant data only, like posting comments to websites etc. Any other use of transmitted data must get Apple's permission, and info about said use must be at minimum made available in the apps privacy policy. Few people take time to actually read, or read well, privacy policies and user agreements. Once again, Apple is exempt from all of that, and can gather all the data it wants for whatever reasons it wants.

It still boils down to the fact that Apple's main goal is not protecting users from gathering of device use, web search data, and other data gathering, but preventing competition in the business models that use such data.

Reply Parent Score: 1