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iOS 4 terms may bar Google from scraping device data for ads

updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue June 8, 2010

Android blocks Google from iPhone device data

The updated terms for the iOS 4 SDK may specifically exclude Google from collecting detailed device and user data for ads on the iPhone, the developer agreement shows. While Apple will allow an app to send data for ads, the information has to be sent to an ad host that isn't owned by a company involved in another business, especially competing mobile platforms. The terms appear to single out Google, whose ownership of AdMob and development of Android could put it at odds with the iPhone developer.

Data must be "provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent)," it reads.

The wording isn't exclusive to Google and would prevent a company like Microsoft from taking the same approach were it to make mobile ads. It nonetheless makes clear that Apple considers Google's collecting user and device data a potential threat. Apple is clear that mobile ads are allowed to collect data with consent but also implies that Google could use any data it collects as a competitive advantage for its own mobile platform.

Apple's new terms are primarily meant to address both user privacy and the company's own, as it found that the analytical company Flurry as sending out pre-release device data and, on production hardware, was doing the same without customers being aware. Flurry under the new terms is banned from getting data through the apps themselves.

Representatives from Apple have been asked for comment but haven't responded so far. [via AllThingsD]


By Electronista Staff


  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Device or app data?

    I think that's to stop an app from opening and sending the contents of your address book, sending your phone ID, etc. - I don't think it means in-app data such as what game you are playing, or location data which you give permission for.

    Sounds like a good policy, but may be misinterpreted.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    And you notice, however, that Apple excluded themselves from their own rules. So advertisers would be able to get all this 'private' data from Apple through their service, just not through anyone else's service.

    And note this only applies to advertisers. Can developers get this data?

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Google should

    just sue Apple.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    comment title

    The only item of importance to me in this story is "mobile ads are allowed to collect data with consent" - hopefully that means my consent, not Apple's consent.

    Nobody gets my consent to collect data from me.

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