Platforms, Feds, Ads

In trying to write a focused post on the threat of government regulation Apple is facing, I didn’t mention an area I’m personally very interested in from the standpoint of Better Advertising: Apple’s restrictions regarding data collection.

Section 3.3.9 of the Apple developer agreement prevents third party data collection from Apple mobile devices:

The use of third-party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited.

The advertising industry feeds on data. It also relies on being able to uniquely identify devices. My reading is that device identification data can no longer be sent, which will break analytics and will hurt advertisers by, for example, limiting their ability to do frequency capping accurately.

I see an easy work-around which is that analytics companies would provide APIs and “tutorial code” they put in the public domain on how developers can build their own client for feeding data into the third parties. It’s a trick to get around the restriction using a technicality. It’s lame but not as lame as the restriction.

I wonder what Apple’s argument is about why this makes sense?

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a search advertising platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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