NEWS3 June 2010

Apple’s Jobs vents at analytics firm who peeked at iPad testing

Data analytics North America

US— Developers working on Apple’s iPhone and iPad platforms may be upset about the recent ban on using third-party analytics software to collect device data – but they’re not half as angry as Apple CEO Steve Jobs is with the analytics firms.

Speaking at the All Things Digital conference in California this week, Jobs explained how one company in particular – Flurry Analytics – raised Apple’s hackles when it boasting of having used its analytics software to observe secret tests of the as-yet-unannounced iPad.

“We thought ‘what the hell?’,” said Jobs. “They are getting developers to put their software in their apps and their software is sending out information about the device, its geolocation and other things back to Flurry.

“No customer has ever been asked about this, its violating every rule in our privacy policy with our developers… So we said, no – we’re not going to allow this.”

Jobs explained that the decision was then taken to only allow analytics “that don’t give out device information and that are solely for the purposes of advertising”.

“If a developer needs to put some analytics in their app that sends some information out to an advertiser so they can make some money… they can do that,” said Jobs. “But they can’t send data out to an analytics firm who’s going to sell it to make money and publish it to tell everybody that we have devices on our campus we don’t want people to know about.”

Based on Jobs’ comments, then, the company is happy for analytics to be used to support the burgeoning iPhone and iPad app economy. Apple has its own ad platform, iAd, launching soon and Jobs stressed at the All Things Digital event that the company is “not banning other advertisers from our platforms”.

Analytics firms remain in Jobs’ bad books – at least for now. “After we’ve calmed down from being pissed off than we are willing to talk to some of these analytics firms,” he said.

See Jobs in action in the video below:


Steve Jobs discusses the app analytics rule changes at the D8 event

Meanwhile, Flurry has made a number of attempts to appease Apple – firstly, pledging not to collect device data and secondly, launching a new privacy initiative which will ensure “nothing is done without the consumer’s knowledge, or without the chance for a consumer to stop data collection,” according to CEO Simon Khalaf.