Apple taps into your iTunes data for better iAd targeting
Raises some interesting privacy issues
That's if a report published by Bloomberg detailing the inner workings of Apple's own ad network is anything to go by.
According to the website, Apple is leveraging iTunes, iBook and App Store download account data to enable marketers to target consumers on iAd more effectively.
Giving iAd a leg up
The technique involves Apple collecting 'standard targeting options' from the millions of iTunes users running iOS 4.
Said data then allows it to bunch apps together in set buckets that appeal to different consumer groups - i.e. if your ad is aimed at fathers in their mid-30s, iAd will ensure it exposes this information so advertisers can ensure their ads go into the type of apps that match this group's likely appetites.
Individual information obviously isn't shared.
"The leading global brands we're working with are developing iAds timed with their seasonal marketing campaigns, such as back to school and the holiday shopping season," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller told Bloomberg.
"We're just taking our first few steps. We'll work our way up to walking and running as this year progresses."
In truth, it's fairly logical stuff and simply a extension of the kind of practice marketers are used to employing on television and in the print media, but it does see Apple skirting rather close to the privacy rules the firm has criticised others for encroaching on, particularly in terms of retrospectively using your previous buying habits.
No doubt aware of potential criticism on this score, Apple allows users to opt out of the service, a quick visit to https://oo.apple.com/ enough to ensure their records are not included.