Apple Offers Opt-Out for iAd, Collects Location Data
Developers keep 60 percent of the proceeds from ads shown; Apple gets the remaining 40 percent of sales. iAd is Apple's plan to challenge Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet companies in the market for mobile ads delivered on smartphones and tablet computers.
"If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the content on a Web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. This opt-out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks."
ATD notes that Apple's privacy approach for iAd is akin to policies from Google and Yahoo, which also let users opt out of seeing targeted advertising, but not ads entirely.
Interestingly, while users can run from the interest-based ads, they can't avoid the location-based tracking Apple is using for its iPhone, iPads and computers.
"To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device... For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services."
Of some consolation to privacy-wary users is that Apple claims the the location data it collects is done so anonymously in a form that does not personally identify users. However, Apple added that its MobileMe "Find My iPhone" feature requires users' personal information for the feature to work.
The smart bet says Apple device users will be OK with the location-based services Apple offers, so long as these services improve the user experience for applications on the iPhone and iPad.