Apple's recent change to its developer rules requiring their
approval to collect and send device data to third parties for aggregation,
analytics or processing, has created a firestorm in the mobile blogosphere. If
Facebook had a mobile operating system, they would not qualify as "independent"
according to the new rules and hence could be blocked. Recent legislation, such
as the draft privacy bill
from Rep. Rick Boucher, seeks to define and require
opt-in approval for "sensitive information." That could be your exact
geographic location or something similar. Of course users comfortable with
geo-location applications shouldn't have a problem providing their approval,
not many people read those fine print in pop-ups anyway - but they should.
We are seeing inconsistent privacy
notices and policies in use across desktop and mobile applications. Apple justifies
their approach under the "privacy" banner, but could attract the scrutiny of
the FTC. The recent leak
of AT&T ICC-ID data to obtain user email addresses
brings Apple's privacy concerns up front and personal. While not necessarily
Apple's fault, they still require an email address for iTunes. Mobile
advertising has evolved from the desktop space with some innovation, although
there have not been many break-through ideas. Apple's iAd experience is very
clever in that users clicking ads are presented an HTML5 container without leaving
the app. Delivery and bundling of iAds via iTunes supports their cash engine. By
forcing developers to use HTML5, this further drives the standard away from Adobe.
Perhaps Apple could use iTunes as a repository for user opt-in status thereby
eliminating interruptions in the application itself.