Apple's Steve Jobs Shows Fury Over Flurry

Says Data Flap One Reason IAd Platform Will Be Closed, For Now

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NEW YORK ( -- Steve Jobs unleashed his fury on Flurry last night, showing his anger over the analytics firm's remote peek into Apple's iPad back in January. Flurry was able to glean data on iPad's development via iPhone apps loaded onto Apple's forthcoming tablet device, which the firm then published just days before the device was officially released.

"One day we read in the paper that a company called Flurry Analytics has detected that we have some new iPhone and other tablet devices that we're using on our campus," the Apple CEO said on stage at the D8 conference last night. "We thought, 'What the hell?'"

Flurry had violated "every rule in privacy policy" with Apple, Mr. Jobs said. "We're not going to allow this." He went on to explain that Apple would allow analytics only for the purposes of seeing how ads are performing on the iPad. He also said Apple will not ban other advertisers from its platforms, answering a long-simmering question over the company's position on other ad networks, such as Google's AdMob.

Analytics, however, are key to any digital ad campaign, and Mr. Jobs did say that "We're real naive about this stuff." Flurry was not immediately available for comment on Mr. Jobs' claims, though the company did announce a consumer privacy initiative in mid-May. "[Flurry's] approach to data collection and visibility into audience targeting goes a long way to ease consumer privacy concerns," CEO Simon Khalaf said in a statement. "Nothing is done without the consumer's knowledge, or without the chance for a consumer to stop data collection."

Interestingly, AllThingsD's Peter Kafka points out Mr. Jobs was answering a question from Flurry investor Chris Fralic, who responded to Mr. Jobs' invective by saying that developers typically cull data to test its code. Mr. Jobs' riposte: "After we calm down from being pissed off, then we're willing to talk to some of these analytics firms. But it's not today."

The Wall Street Journal's eighth annual D: All Things Digital conference runs through June 3.

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