Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Unity’s IPO Filing

Unity’s Form S-1 cites some risk factors (via Hacker News, Slashdot):

Operating system platform providers or application stores may change terms of service, policies or technical requirements to require us or our customers to change data collection and privacy practices, business models, operations, practices, advertising activities or application content, which could adversely impact our business.


In June 2020, Apple announced plans to require applications using its mobile operating system, iOS, to affirmatively (on an opt-in basis) obtain an end-user’s permission to “track them across apps or websites owned by other companies” or access their device’s advertising identifier for advertising and advertising measurement purposes, as well as other restrictions. We expect that Apple may implement these changes as early as fall of 2020. The timing and manner in which these plans will be implemented and the effect on our revenue are not yet clear, but these changes could adversely affect our revenue from our monetization products and potentially other Operate Solutions. In addition, if customers have applications removed from these third-party platforms because of a change in platform guidelines that impact our code or practices, we could be exposed to legal risk and lose customers. In addition, these platforms could change their business models and could, for example, increase application store fees to our customers, which could have an adverse impact on our business.


If we or our customers were to violate, or an operating system platform provider or application store believes that we or our customers have violated, its terms of service or policies, that operating system platform provider or application store could limit or discontinue our or our customers’ access to its platform or store. In some cases these requirements may not be clear and our interpretation of the requirements may not align with the interpretation of the operating system platform provider or application store, which could lead to inconsistent enforcement of these terms of service or policies against us or our customers, and could also result in the operating system platform provider or application store limiting or discontinuing access to its platform or store. An operating system platform provider or application store could also limit or discontinue our access to its platform or store if it establishes more favorable relationships with one or more of our competitors or it determines that it is in their business interests to do so.


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Old Unix Geek

Although truth is legally required, it shows how much power OS vendors now have... In the days of yore, the complaint was that Microsoft had secret APIs to make their apps faster. Now... the risk is simply being banned. If the App store can ban things, why not your internet provider? why not your bank? What kind of world are we allowing these corporations to create?

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