Sure, Apple's iAd platform seems like an interesting take on mobile advertising. But have you ever wondered exactly how Apple decides which iAds to use and when to use them? BusinessWeek has learned that Apple is studying iTunes data from its users in order to decide what types of ads to run as well as who the ads are targeted at. The company will be collecting data from music, video, and application downloads from its iTunes and iBooks apps. You shouldn't worry too much about Apple spying on specific users, though, because they're simply gathering information for specific demographics. For example, Apple began working with Unilever back in May to help sell its Dove Men+Care soap to married men in their late 30s who also have children. Unilever can then choose specific "buckets" of apps to advertise in, such as news or entertainment.
While this news is probably disconcerting to some users, its something a person must accept in order to become a part of the iTunes ecosystem. I'm sure that Apple won't be doing anything evil with its user data because, if they did, there would likely be a major backlash. Besides, collecting general user data like this is not completely unheard of in advertising. And hey, for the small price of your anonymous download data, you get some interesting and interactive ads (probably)!