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Flurry modifies data collection after being called out by Steve Jobs


After being singled out by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, mobile analytics firm Flurry has said it will comply with changes to the iPhone OS terms of service and respect the company's wishes by not collecting device data.

Speaking at the D8 conference on Tuesday, Jobs mentioned Flurry was using its advertising tools to identify prototype hardware being tested privately on Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus. He said Apple was "really naive" about what kind of data analytics firms were collecting.

Flurry responded by stating that it has been taking steps to address privacy concerns, and that the company has been in communication with Apple about its changes.

"Regarding sharing some specific aggregated usage statistics, to which Apple is opposed, we will comply with their wishes," Flurry's vice president of marketing Peter Farago told AppleInsider. "Our goal continues to be to add value to the developer ecosystem and be a strong partner to platform providers."

A few weeks ago, Flurry announced its "Privacy First Initiative," a set of developer requirements and product features that include simple, readable "Terms of Service" language, an opt-out switch as part of each application's settings, a mandatory data deletion button, and geographic data no more specific than a metropolitan area. The company has 30,000 customers and its analytics software is found in more than 40,000 applications available for the iPhone, Google Android, and BlackBerry.

Farago said Flurry is also updating its analytics service to comply with section 3.3.9 of the latest iPhone OS developer agreement.

"We will not collect device data," he said. "All in all, the changes required to be in compliance will have little impact on the usefulness we provide to developers about how to improve their applications, and how to continue to increase consumer satisfaction."

Flurry made headlines in January when it boasted that it had tracked 50 suspected Apple tablets on the company's campus days before the iPad was officially unveiled. The company said it had been tracking such devices, running iPhone OS 3.2, since October of 2009.

Jobs said the changes to the iPhone software development kit were not intended to fight off competition for its own iAd mobile advertising platform. He said Apple isn't looking to make money off of iAd, but to help its developers profit from their applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Jobs, who was noticeably agitated when discussing the matter, signaled that Apple could become more flexible with firms like Flurry in the future.

"After we calm down from being pissed off, then we're willing to talk to some of these analytics firms," he said. "But it's not today."