Thursday, December 17, 2020

Facebook Openly Bashes iOS 14 Privacy Changes Through Newspaper Ads; Apple Responds


Facebook is openly bashing Apple through a series of recently published full-page newspaper ads in the US. According to a report by Bloomberg, the social media firm is claiming that the iPhone maker’s upcoming iOS privacy changes will greatly affect small businesses.

Once implemented on Apple’s mobile operating system, the update will curb the ability of companies such as Facebook from gathering user data for targeted advertising. The social giant says that small companies, whom it is claiming to defend in the published ads, will be the ones experiencing a negative impact from the change as they are relying on the data to promote their businesses.

“We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere,” wrote Facebook in the ad. “While limiting how personalised ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses”. The company also cited its own data, stating that ads running on its platform that disregard personalised targeting generate 60% fewer sales than those that target consumers. 


Apple then responded to Facebook sometime after, insisting to defend its stance on the privacy changes on the upcoming iOS 14 update. In a statement shared with several media websites, the iPhone maker claims that the move is intended to provide its users with a choice to allow their data to be shared or not.

“We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not. App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires where they give users a choice.”


It appears that Facebook’s may still be on the offensive with another newspaper ad planned to be published in the US this week. According to BuzzFeed News editor John Paczkowski who claims to have received the first draft of the ad, the social media firm reportedly states that the iOS 14 privacy update will “change the internet as we know it for the worse”. The draft describes that as a result of this change, websites such as blogs and cooking will have to charge for subscriptions or in-app purchases instead of running personalised ads that would allow them to offer content for free.

Keep in mind that the legitimacy of Paczkowski’s report regarding the supposed upcoming ad from Facebook is unconfirmed. As usual with claims such as these, do take this piece of information with a grain of salt.


This isn’t the first time the social media company has decided to trade blows with Apple. Facebook previously called out to the iPhone maker earlier in August, criticising the latter’s App Store policy of taking a 30% cut from all in-app purchases from all developers. Responding to the criticism, Apple revealed in November that it will reduce its commission rate to 15% starting 1 January 2021. Although seen as a small victory for Facebook and App Store developers, the battle is still seemingly far from over – especially between the social media company and the iPhone maker.

Apple’s privacy changes, which was originally planned to debut with the release of iOS 14 in fall, will not be implemented until sometime early next year. As mentioned earlier, the update will allow iPhone users to enable or disable an app’s ability to record their activities for purposes such as advertising and so on. Therefore, with enough time before the changes are activated, you can expect Facebook – and perhaps other companies who rely on user data for business – to continue taking action against the Cupertino-based tech giant.

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