Apple’s modified iOS terms allow outside advertisers, may limit Google’s AdMob

Supreme Studio Makeover from “Apple on Monday changed the terms of its iOS developer agreement to allow outside, independent advertising agencies to collect data with user consent, but the change also has a provision that appears to exclude Google’s AdMob,” Sam Oliver reports for AppleInsider.

“In April, Apple updated the terms of its mobile operating system developer agreement, restricting outside advertising agencies from collecting information about users. Last week at the D8 conference, Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the changes were made to protect user privacy, and were not anticompetitive,” Oliver reports. “On Monday, Apple officially changed its stance and modified the terms of its developer agreement. The new section 3.3.9 reads that applications ‘may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent,’ and gives a list of conditions under which the sharing of data is allowed. Agencies will now be allowed to collect user data, but only after receiving their consent.”

“As noted by Peter Kafka at MediaMemo, the modified section 3.3.9 says that information can only be provided to ‘an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads. For example,’ it continues, ‘an advertising service or provider owned or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems of development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent,'” Oliver reports. “The largest mobile advertising firm, AdMob, was recently acquired by Google. Google is also the maker of the Android mobile operating system, which would seem to suggest that AdMob is qualified as a ‘developer or distributor’ of mobile operating systems.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Google’s going to rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.” – MacDailyNews Take, March 09, 2010


  1. GOOD!! Apple is under no obligation to help mobile OS competitors by providing them with data pertaining to iOS. There are other, truly independent advertising agencies.

  2. That is fair thing; why Apple has to give information about user use of their platform?

    Not before Google will allow Apple to host iAd advertisments on Android.

    Get ready for the moaning on blogs about how “evil” “closed” Apple does not allow “good” “open” Google to undermine Apple’s competitiveness by allowing Google to harvest iPhone user information.

  3. Sounds antcompetitive to me. Almost like Ford saying that no one who works for Toyota can posess one of our cars. Not a perfect analogy, but close.

  4. That analogy is not even close. The terms don’t state that people that work for google can’t own an iPhone. They state that you can’t harvest user information (tracking their position, their device specs, etc. and esp. without the user knowing) if you aren’t using it strictly for advertising. When you make your own phone, there is a conflict of interest. Google would be able to see, for a simple example, that most people are using their phones near water and make the next Android phone waterproof. Where your phone is located is of know business except to someone trying to serve you ads, for boats maybe, and only if you expressly give them permission to.

  5. It’s not anti competitive. Apple allows independant ad agencies to do their work, Google is a direct competitor. Why us that hard for you to grasp, MadMac?

  6. Well, if you want to support your app developers, you need to either start paying for apps or move to the platform that allows them to pick the ad provider that maximizes their revenue.

    Or you can scream “suck it greedy app developers”, too.

    Sent from my iPhone, for now.

  7. Okay, scratch that flawed analogy. But note, this is not an issue of harvesting user information without their knowledge, Apple already covers that. It’s about saying that ONCE THE USER ACCEPTS THEIR INFORMATION BEING USED, only certain companies may use that information. I doubt this will hold up.

    If Apple opens up its architecture for one company to gather information with user approval, they cannot say that the next company cannot get that information SOLEY based on the fact that they compete with Apple. I bet courts will find that they either open it up for all to collect or keep it closed. You can’t discriminate here.

  8. @ twilightmoon,

    Nice jab, buddy. Grasp this!

    Just kidding. Google’s competitive stance with Apple is indeed a liability for AdMob. However, being a significant provider of cell phones cannot be used as an anticompetitive lever for Apple. It’s just the way the courts have said business will be done. Not my opinion or my lack of getting it.


  9. It most certainly can. People agree to give their information to facebook et. al., or even search engines with your search history, but you better believe people get upset when those companies then try to sell that data to others. It’s the same thing. Apple says only advertisers may use this data. That is well within their rights and is not anticompetitive.

    If not then if I was a criminal I would buy the data. I could discern where an individual most likely lives based on where ads are viewed during evening and weekend hours, I could tell when they leave their homes for work, if the phone is across the country at christmas time I could tell they are on vacation or visiting relatives, etc. It’s perfect if I was robbing houses.

    There is probably tons of information you could mine for purposes other than advertising. What brought this all on, as revealed by Jobs at D8, was the tracking of devices within the Apple campus, not for serving ads, but just for tracking/snooping. From the specs they could see it was a tablet (from the size of the screen), see the other details like memory and processor. All a competitor would have to do is buy all the data and only look at devices that are located at Apple HQ to see what Apple is working on. Clearly not what people or Apple wanted when/if they agreed to release data for ADVERTISING purposes.

  10. @ NotMacMedic,

    Nice try, but this is not an issue of Apple saying that the data can only go to advertisers. It is saying that the information can only go to SOME advertisers. SOME are excluded in a discriminatory fashion.

    Try again.

  11. Of course its only SOME advertisers. Are you really that dense? It states that so it CAN ONLY BE USED FOR ADVERTISING. What is so hard to understand about that? That way, I can’t open an adverting section of my business to gather the data when I really want it for the other part of my business, say a tech news site who wants to get the scoop on Apple devices, or for mining user habits for other purposes NOT RELATED TO ADVERTISING. So who gets the data? ONLY ADVERTISERS. Not ADVERTISERS/something else that wants the data.

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