Apple Modifies iOS Developer Terms (Again) To Allow “Limited” Analytics Collection

After creating a stir of controversy following a change to its developer agreement, Apple today announced another change aimed at calming down those who felt the previous terms were unfair.

The company has again modified the relevant portion of its developer agreement, Section 3.3.9, to at least partially open the door to limited data collection for analytics purposes, saying “If you compare and contrast with Apple’s earlier version, you’ll see the message is clear: It’s OK to collect user data to help sell ads — though you will need to get their permission to do so.”

The new terms require that any analytics company receiving data must be an “independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads.”  What that means is that an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent.

These kind of restrictions would prohibit the use for companies like AdMob, given the fact that it’s now owned and operated by Google, but wouldn’t effect companies like Medialets, Millennial Media or Greystripe, who’s sole purpose of collecting analytics is for serving mobile ads.  It should continue to get interesting, stay tuned.