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Apps not using UDID data willl see 24% less ad revenue, study says

post #1 of 32
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A study conducted by mobile ad server MoPub claims that by rejecting apps which use UDID data, Apple is effectively cutting off around 24 percent of developer ad revenue.

MoPub notes that because mobile advertisers use unique device identifier (UDID) data to track an ad's effectiveness to create pricing models, the removal of such a tool would likely result in app developers losing nearly a quarter of all ad revenue, according to a Wednesday report from MacWorld UK.

In the traditional mobile ad system, iOS app publishers use UDID data as both a means of performance measurement and monetization while advertisers rely on the data to see how well an ad converts into an action like downloads or click-throughs. The ad companies are basically testing an advertisement's effectiveness and value to decide how much to pay app publishers for ad space.

?The move away from UDIDs threatens advertising revenue that many publishers depend on in order to support their content creation and businesses," said MoPub CEO and co-founder Jim Payne. "Here, we see a direct correlation between the money paid for an ad and the ability to track an ad. It?s clear that Apple needs to address this issue with an appropriate alternative, because the damage to a publisher?s bottom line will likely be material if UDID data actually disappears.?

MoPub's three month study found that the disparity between publishers which use UDIDs and those that do not is an eCPM (effective cost per mille) average of 0.18 cents with app makers pulling in 0.76 cents and 0.58 cents, respectively.

UDID
Example of an iPad UDID found in the iTunes device summary tab.


UDID data usage has been a hot-button topic as mobile privacy issues have come under the scrutiny of consumers and lawmakers alike. Other means of transmitting sensitive personal information without the knowledge or consent of users raised enough attention that Congress members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a series of letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking about what the company was doing to ensure the security of iPhone and iPad owners. The subcommittee went as far as requesting that an Apple representative be dispatched to Washington for a briefing on the company's app developer policies and practices.

An example of unauthorized data transmission is social networking app Path's back-end "feature" that copied a user's contacts and sent the information to off-site servers in the name of streamlining the process in which the service connects users. Path ultimately apologized and implemented an opt-in system for uploading address data.

Apple first addressed the UDID issue in August 2011 when it announced plans to remove app publishers' access to the data in iOS 5, though the functionality has yet to be eschewed and remains in the latest version 5.1.

It was reported in late March that Apple was gearing up to initiate blanket rejections of apps using UDID data in an effort to deprecate all third-party UDID access, though there has been no official word that this is the case.
post #2 of 32
If you can't monetize your app on iOS you can't monetize it anywhere. I don't think Apple is going to lift a finger to help the ad-supported model track its users. The whole point is that what the advertisers were tracking already was inappropriate and didn't serve the user at all. If anything, Apple will encourage and assist the developers to move to a purchase/subscription model. After all, where else are the app writers going to go?
post #3 of 32

I have no sympathy for the ad people in this case. Just because it will affect their bottom line doesn't mean that we consumers have to be ok with the practice. Screw 'em. If ad revenues go down and more apps have to charge 0.99 or 1.99 instead of being free to compensate, I'm ok with that. I'd much rather pay for an app I want to use than put up with a bunch of ads inside an app to save 99 cents. There's a glut of crappy free apps trying to get by on ad revenue anyway, so if this cuts down on that, all the better.

post #4 of 32
At $0.78 per thousand ad impressions, my time is being wasted disproportionately to a developer's compensation. They have to display over 1,300 ads to earn $0.99. I value my time at a much higher rate... Apple has the right model for their store.
post #5 of 32

Would you be surprised to know that Apple considers UDID to be non-personal and non-identifiable? Apple also states that sharing, transferring, or even selling information associated with a specific UDID to any company, partner, marketer and anyone else for any reason they wish is perfectly permissible. They consider it non-personal info.

 

From Apple's Privacy Policy:

"We also collect non-personal information − data in a form that does not permit direct association with any specific individual... 

 

We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose.

We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising."

 

If Apple considers sharing information associated with a UDID as acceptable use of data gathered from it's users it seems a bit disingenuous to hold the developers to a different standard IMO. If it's OK for Apple why shouldn't it be OK for the developers?


Edited by Gatorguy - 4/25/12 at 4:17pm
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post #6 of 32
A study conducted by mobile ad server MoPub claims

I stopped reading right there.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If Apple considers sharing information associated with a UDID as acceptable use of data gathered from it's users it seems a bit disingenuous to hold the developers to a different standard IMO. If it's OK for Apple why shouldn't it be OK for the developers?
Because they can be a gateway for information. When a third party has that same unique identifying data it is not necessarily still anonymous. Yes, I'm sure they want to improve their ad effectiveness, but I doubt that is the primary driver.
post #8 of 32

Apple can sell that UDID-associated data to advertisers whenever they wish and remain in line with their privacy policies. They clearly say they may do whatever they wish with it for any reason they like...

 

and apparently they do.

 

"Christophe Cauvy, head of digital, EMEA, at McCann-Erickson suggested iAd's appeal is obvious, while consumer insights provided by Apple strengthened such an offering further.

"The sheer number and profile of iPod touch and iPhone users is valuable," said Cauvy.

"The targeting aspect, using iTunes data in addition to demographics and location, is a great tool for advertisers. It's a rich experience for users."

http://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/ArchiveNews.news?ID=27524

Apple does sell you to advertisers, but keeps it low-profile and "unmentionable". It's certainly not now a primary focus like it would be to a Google or Facebook. 


Edited by Gatorguy - 4/25/12 at 6:14pm
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post #9 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Would you be surprised to know that Apple considers UDID to be non-personal and non-identifiable? Apple also states that sharing, transferring, or even selling information associated with a specific UDID to any company, partner, marketer and anyone else for any reason they wish is perfectly permissible. They consider it non-personal info.

 

From Apple's Privacy Policy:

"We also collect non-personal information − data in a form that does not permit direct association with any specific individual... 

 

We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose.

We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising."

 

If Apple considers sharing information associated with a UDID as acceptable use of data gathered from it's users it seems a bit disingenuous to hold the developers to a different standard IMO. If it's OK for Apple why shouldn't it be OK for the developers?

 

Because of the profit motive.  Apple has a vested interest in making their devices appealing to consumers, and abusing private information gets in the way of that, as we saw earlier with the location-saving bug.  Apple fixed it fast, while Google defended storing it because Google's profit motive is selling users to their advertisers while Apple's is selling devices to consumers.  App developers have significantly less vested interest in any particular app, especially once they've collected some personal information and sold it.  They can just change their name, modify the app, and re-submit it under a different name.  They can fly under the radar.  The user doesn't know or trust the particular app maker, they trust Apple and its store to protect their interests.

 

Thus, even if it seems unfair, from the point of view of selling great stuff to consumers there's a significant difference.

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Apple can sell that UDID-associated data to advertisers whenever they wish and remain in line with their privacy policies. They clearly say they may do whatever they wish with it for any reason they like...

 

and apparently they do.

 

"Christophe Cauvy, head of digital, EMEA, at McCann-Erickson suggested iAd's appeal is obvious, while consumer insights provided by Apple strengthened such an offering further.

"The sheer number and profile of iPod touch and iPhone users is valuable," said Cauvy.

"The targeting aspect, using iTunes data in addition to demographics and location, is a great tool for advertisers. It's a rich experience for users."

http://www.allnewsmac.com/2010/11/18/apple-expands-iad-in-europe-with-new-advertisers-like-l%E2%80%99oreal-renault-louis-vuitton-and-more/

 

Apple does sell you to advertisers, but keeps it low-profile and "unmentionable". It's certainly not now a primary focus like it would be to a Google or Facebook. 


Except, unsurprisingly, none of those "quotes" are found in that article. How many times have we seen this with GG. Does he just think no one will check his links and we'll just assume they support the stuff he makes up?

Even his apparently fake quotes don't support his assertion. We all know that Google's business model is to sell us to advertisers, just as we know that it's in Apple's best interest not to. Never trust a shill.
post #11 of 32

The difference is I trust Apple. I do not trust ad companies or developers who put ads within their apps. Period! If I know beforehand that an apps has ads, I won't buy it. If I buy and find ads in it, I send it to the trash no matter what I paid. It's really that simple.

post #12 of 32

It should come as no surprise that our private, trackable info has value that can be sold to advertisers. That’s the very foundation of Google’s profits. It’s less fundamental to Apple and iOS developers, but still true. So—in this case, for iOS users, privacy wins and some ad value is lost. Some, but not all.

post #13 of 32

Give me a f**** break.  Apple announced back in August, 2011 their intention to do this.  Do not be shocked now it is happening  

 

And, I think this is a good thing.  I LOVE that Apple is making iOS more private for the consumer by default.  A 24% impact to advertising to those network that are looking to highly track and target is really not going to amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things 

 

Zero financial impact to Apple... Move on   

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post #14 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I have no sympathy for the ad people in this case. Just because it will affect their bottom line doesn't mean that we consumers have to be ok with the practice. Screw 'em. If ad revenues go down and more apps have to charge 0.99 or 1.99 instead of being free to compensate, I'm ok with that. I'd much rather pay for an app I want to use than put up with a bunch of ads inside an app to save 99 cents. There's a glut of crappy free apps trying to get by on ad revenue anyway, so if this cuts down on that, all the better.

 

i have to agree with this. I think that all apps that are paid should be required to be ad free and all free with ads should be required to have a way for us to pay to turn the annoying things off. 

post #15 of 32

There is something rather ironic about a group of people complaining about ad supported apps on an ad supported website.

 

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Jim Payne said: Here, we see a direct correlation between the money paid for an ad and the ability to track an ad. 

 

He got this part right.  Of course, tracking individuals' behavior without their knowledge or (real) consent is vile, regardless of how much money it makes someone else, but apparently he missed that morality lesson growing up.

 

Quote:
"It’s clear that Apple needs to address this issue with an appropriate alternative, because the damage to a publisher’s bottom line will likely be material if UDID data actually disappears.”

 

However, this part he got totally wrong.  It's not clear that Apple needs to address anything of the sort.  Unlike Google, Apple's customer base isn't the advertisers, it's the buyers of their products.  Unlike Google, who depends on profiling individuals to increase profits, Apple is perfectly happy making their money the old-fashioned way: make great products, sell them to satisfied customers.  Apps are available for purchase at very reasonable prices, making customers, developers and Apple all very happy.  No secrecy, no treachery, no BS.

 

And just to ward off any stupid comments about Apple's ads, they are such a tiny part of Apple's business that it could be considered a roundoff error.  Not a consideration.

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post #17 of 32

As a developer who puts ads in some of my apps (alway with a way topaz to turn them off) I welcome this, it means other publishers/developers might be more inclined to use iAds

 

post #18 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Would you be surprised to know that Apple considers UDID to be non-personal and non-identifiable? Apple also states that sharing, transferring, or even selling information associated with a specific UDID to any company, partner, marketer and anyone else for any reason they wish is perfectly permissible. They consider it non-personal info.

 

From Apple's Privacy Policy:

"We also collect non-personal information − data in a form that does not permit direct association with any specific individual... 

 

We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose.

We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising."

 

If Apple considers sharing information associated with a UDID as acceptable use of data gathered from it's users it seems a bit disingenuous to hold the developers to a different standard IMO. If it's OK for Apple why shouldn't it be OK for the developers?

 

Lie by omission:

 

"If we do combine non-personal information with personal information the combined information will be treated as personal information for as long as it remains combined."

 

UDID as used by app devs to tie your account information (aka you) to a specific device is treated by Apple as "personal information", not as non-personal.  

 

Access to MAC address is likely the next thing to go.

post #19 of 32

Couldn't Apple just provide a function that only gives the Ad people an encrypted ID that e.g. is the MD5 encryption of the developer's or Ad company's ID combined with the UDID?

 

That way the modified IDs couldn't be sold to other companies, the Ad people would be pleased, and our privacy would only be compromised in lesser and more acceptable manner.

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

There is something rather ironic about a group of people complaining about ad supported apps on an ad supported website.

 


I don't see any ads...frankly if the ads here were as tastefully done as on The Loop and Daring Fireball I'd turn off ad block for AI just as I do the DF and TL.

Not that I click on any of those but it's one small image that doesn't bog my browser down so if they get any revenue from serving the ad I'm happy to let them do so.
post #21 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanFruniken View Post

Couldn't Apple just provide a function that only gives the Ad people an encrypted ID that e.g. is the MD5 encryption of the developer's or Ad company's ID combined with the UDID?

 

That way the modified IDs couldn't be sold to other companies, the Ad people would be pleased, and our privacy would only be compromised in lesser and more acceptable manner.

 

This.... and they DO! I'm so upset with the media spreading this crap without actually researching. Quote out of the UIDevice Class:

 

 

 

Quote:
Special Considerations

Do not use the uniqueIdentifier property. To create a unique identifier specific to your app, you can call the CFUUIDCreate function to create a UUID, and write it to the defaults database using the NSUserDefaults class.

 

 

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #22 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

 

Lie by omission:

 

"If we do combine non-personal information with personal information the combined information will be treated as personal information for as long as it remains combined."

 

UDID as used by app devs to tie your account information (aka you) to a specific device is treated by Apple as "personal information", not as non-personal.  

 

Access to MAC address is likely the next thing to go.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "lie by omission". ??

 

Apple doesn't consider your UDID to be personally identifiable data, and therefor your quote wouldn't affect whether it's combined with location and other supposed non-personal information sent to 3rd party marketers or whoever.

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post #23 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "lie by omission". ??

 

Apple doesn't consider your UDID to be personally identifiable data, and therefor your quote wouldn't affect whether it's combined with location and other supposed non-personal information sent to 3rd party marketers or whoever.

 

And yet, GG hasn't provided any evidence to support his assertion that Apple is providing the UDID to 3rd parties. He's even playing fast and loose with language to make the claim that they don't consider it to be "personally identifiable data", then to use it to prop up his assertion.

 

I kind of think that sort of thing is what was meant by lie of omission. But we're all used to GG's misleading rhetorical techniques by now. Next, he'll claim he never said Apple was providing it to 3rd parties, just "raising the possibility", that they could, if they wanted... if they were a sleazy company like Google, that is.

post #24 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "lie by omission". ??

 

Apple doesn't consider your UDID to be personally identifiable data, and therefor your quote wouldn't affect whether it's combined with location and other supposed non-personal information sent to 3rd party marketers or whoever.

 

A UDID IS not personally identifiable unless you can associate it with some kind of account.  Therefore location + UDID is non-personal.

 

UDID + my GMail info or UDID + Facebook info etc IS personally identifiable data.

 

If only Apple and Verizon can associate UDID with me (via my account info) then it doesn't matter if they treat that like all of my other personal information.  They aren't selling the data that UDID belongs to nht.  Well, Apple isn't anyway.  I assume neither is Verizon.

 

The problem is that apps often also have account information and they can make that same association and sell it to a 3rd party.  Then everyone knows that when they see UDID that it's me.  THIS is what they are stopping. 

 

So yes, a lie by omission.  When the UDID is combined with my AppleID THEN it is personal information and treated as such.

 

But why the heck am I answering?  I could swear I had you on ignore, that's easy enough to fix.

post #25 of 32

Since we both said the same thing I don't see what your disagreement is with what I wrote..

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post #26 of 32

We have Adblock on our computers :)

post #27 of 32

Apple is just getting out in front of the inevitable.  There WILL be legislation that makes using the UUID for tracking purposes illegal.  By telling developers in advance, Apple is doing them a service.  Otherwise, when the legislation does pass there would be a mad scramble by developers and ad networks to comply with the law.  Do it now, on your own schedule, and avoid the fire-drill.

 

post #28 of 32

BTW, as a slightly related aside, if you're truly paranoid and want to browse without anyone knowing who you are take a look at the OnionBrowser in the AppStore. For .99 you can cruise along anonymously via the Tor network.

 

http://www.gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/technology/gadgetbox/onion-browser-iphone-promises-total-web-anonymity-737554

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post #29 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

 

And yet, GG hasn't provided any evidence to support his assertion that Apple is providing the UDID to 3rd parties. He's even playing fast and loose with language to make the claim that they don't consider it to be "personally identifiable data", then to use it to prop up his assertion.

 

I kind of think that sort of thing is what was meant by lie of omission. But we're all used to GG's misleading rhetorical techniques by now. Next, he'll claim he never said Apple was providing it to 3rd parties, just "raising the possibility", that they could, if they wanted... if they were a sleazy company like Google, that is.

 

I notice GG still hasn't respond to your first post about the "quotes" he "cited."

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


Except, unsurprisingly, none of those "quotes" are found in that article. How many times have we seen this with GG. Does he just think no one will check his links and we'll just assume they support the stuff he makes up?
Even his apparently fake quotes don't support his assertion. We all know that Google's business model is to sell us to advertisers, just as we know that it's in Apple's best interest not to. Never trust a shill.

 

 

post #30 of 32

He apparently isn't reading the article carefully. Did you visit the linK? The quotes are there if you take the time to read the entire thing..

 

The reason I don't respond to Anonymouse is he the only one on my "blocked" list so I don't see what he writes unless someone quotes him as you did. I don't think he's ever made a reasoned reply to me, mostly claims of shill and such, so there's really nothing of value to discuss with him.

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post #31 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

He apparently isn't reading the article carefully. Did you visit the linK? The quotes are there if you take the time to read the entire thing..

 

The reason I don't respond to Anonymouse is he the only one on my "blocked" list so I don't see what he writes unless someone quotes him as you did. I don't think he's ever made a reasoned reply to me, mostly claims of shill and such, so there's really nothing of value to discuss with him.

 


Well, I read the "entire thing" and they aren't. The reason I'm on your ignore list is that you got tired of me calling you out on your deceptions, and now you have an excuse to pretend we aren't on to you.

 

But, you're right, I don't bother with point by point rebuttals of your nonsense. I save that for discussions where the posters are honest.

post #32 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Apple can sell that UDID-associated data to advertisers whenever they wish and remain in line with their privacy policies. They clearly say they may do whatever they wish with it for any reason they like...

 

and apparently they do.

 

"Christophe Cauvy, head of digital, EMEA, at McCann-Erickson suggested iAd's appeal is obvious, while consumer insights provided by Apple strengthened such an offering further.

"The sheer number and profile of iPod touch and iPhone users is valuable," said Cauvy.

"The targeting aspect, using iTunes data in addition to demographics and location, is a great tool for advertisers. It's a rich experience for users."

http://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/ArchiveNews.news?ID=27524

Apple does sell you to advertisers, but keeps it low-profile and "unmentionable". It's certainly not now a primary focus like it would be to a Google or Facebook. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

 


Well, I read the "entire thing" and they aren't. The reason I'm on your ignore list is that you got tired of me calling you out on your deceptions, and now you have an excuse to pretend we aren't on to you.

 

But, you're right, I don't bother with point by point rebuttals of your nonsense. I save that for discussions where the posters are honest.

I'll make a one-time exception for you. You're either NOT reading the entire article or purposely making the claim they don't exist for some other reason. Beginning paragraph 11 the quotes I posted are plainly readable. Apparently you only see what you want to see with the truth not terribly important to you either way.

 

How many times have we seen this from you? ;)


Edited by Gatorguy - 4/29/12 at 2:44pm
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