Apple Closely Monitoring Your iTunes Purchases
Apple is applying a very watchful eye to your iTunes purchases these days, and it isn't because of widespread reports of user accounts getting hacked
and fraudulently charged for hundreds of dollars in downloads that were never authorized. Instead, Apple is monitoring what you buy, when you buy it, and what those patterns reveal about you. As you might suspect, this has something to do with Apple's foray into the lucrative digital advertising arena.
We're well aware of more than a few iTunes users who are creeped out by Big Brother. Chances are, Apple has heard the same complaints. But the iAd platform means big business both for Apple and the developers it needs to assuage and better compensate in order to keep the best digital content available on iOS. MMi reported yesterday that, for now, developers widely concur that Apple is better than Android
for making bank with apps.
Only days old, iAd will only be as successful as its targeted advertising efforts. And with better than 150 million iTunes digital storefront customers worldwide, that's a whole lot of targets for a whole lot of ads. According to Apple, however, nothing more intrusive than just basic targeting data will be gleaned - such as "demographics, application preferences, musical tastes, movie and television genre interests, and location." Just as importantly, though, Apple is going to study which apps you spend the most time in, as exposure potential is arguably just as crucial for advertisers as the other data.
Although some Apple loyalists and iTunes customers are uncomfortable with the iAd platform, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Apple is now culling user data from its many account holders for this new enterprise. Since the majority of iAd marketers will spend at least $1 million to participate on the iAd network, Apple has to do whatever it takes to help provide the biggest bang for those very big bucks.