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Apple warns against use of location services for ads

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010
News Categories: Apple, Apps + Games

Apple has posted an App Store Tip on its iPhone Dev Center warning app developers not to use location based services primarily for serving location-targeted ads. The tip states, “if you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.” While it is possible that Apple is issuing the warning in an effort to reduce unnecessary battery drain potentially caused by activating GPS and other location-based features, others, including Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry, have suggested that Apple is instead trying to prohibit other location-based advertising in favor of an Apple/Quattro Wireless-provided solution. Apple purchased Quattro Wireless for $275 million earlier this year, and former Quattro head Andy Miller is now employed by Apple as Vice President, Mobile Advertising.

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Comments

1

Wouldn’t this exact rule apply to anyone using Quattro for ads? I don’t see the point. I suppose because Craig Hockenberry says so, (whoever the hell he is?) it must be true!

As a user experience I agree with Apple on this. If an app asks me to allow it to use my location it better not just be to serve better ads to me!!!

Posted by huh? on February 4, 2010 at 6:41 PM (PDT)

2

Yes, I agree. Hockenberry is an idiot, always assuming the worst. In this case, it is absolutely to protect the consumer. Why do bikini apps ask you for your location? Simply to feed the ad engine better, not to tell you where those bikini clad females are! smile Seriously, Hockenberry should retire—- he’s outdated.

Posted by Homer Simpson on February 4, 2010 at 10:46 PM (PDT)

3

Maybe I’m wrong but my read of the word primarily is that location-based ads are okay but can’t be the “primary” purpose of location-awareness in an app.

That seems different than simply banning location aware ad serving.

Posted by huxley on February 5, 2010 at 7:45 PM (PDT)

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