Earlier this year, human rights and privacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch, wrote to Apple, asking why it’s delaying the introduction of a feature that would force apps to get explicit approval from iPhone users before tracking them. Apple rsponsored, according to Bloomberg, s a letter pushing Facebook.
Apple introduced the privacy enhancement feature in iOS 14 in September but developers don’t have to activate it yet. The groups wrote in a letter to the technology giant, stating that the delay was unscrupulous in the “critical weeks leading up to and after the 2020 U.S. election, when people’s data could be used to target them with personalized political ads’.
In Apple’s letter global leader of privacy, Jane Horvath, responded to the groups by spoiling Facebook and its business model.
“Too often, information about you is collected in an application or website owned by one company and combined with information collected separately from other companies for targeted advertising and ad measurement,” Apple writes. “Sometimes your data is even aggregated and resold by data brokers who are third parties that you neither know nor interact with. Tracking can be invasive, even frightening, and is more often done without significant user awareness or consent. “
Apple advertises the Application Transparency Tracking (ATT) feature as part of its overall privacy commitment, specifically naming Facebook:
In contrast, Facebook and others have a completely different approach to targeting. Not only do they allow users to be grouped into smaller segments, they use detailed online browsing data to target ads. Facebook executives have made it clear that they intend to collect as much data as possible on both first- and third-party products to develop and monetize detailed profiles of their users, and this disregard for user privacy continues to expand. to include more of their products.
Horvat also said that Facebook may have been partly responsible for the delay in the introduction of ATT, telling Bloomberg that the extended schedule would “give developers the time they have been told to update their data systems and practices properly.”
The ATT feature is a major change for application developers and requires users to confirm that they want to share usage data. It also restricts apps’ access to several unique identifiers that can be used to track a user around, affecting their ability to track post-installation actions, target ads, or build user behavior patterns. VentureBeat wrote in September, while “10 to 30% by iOS users are currently restricting ad customization, and up to 15% currently use limited ad tracking to disable them [Identifier for Advertisers], ”Up to 80% is expected to strike no when prompted for an ATT.
Facebook responded in a statement of Ars Technica and other retailers that it’s not about privacy at all – it’s about locking iOS with anti-competitive tactics to secure Apple’s internal offerings and an unfair advantage. It has a point that Apple is currently facing antitrust complaints from the advertising industry for the update of iOS 14, as well as from companies including Spotify, Telegram and Epic Games. Recently, the Subcommittee on the Judiciary of the Constitution found that Apple ‘s mandatory requirement that application developers use its payment platform is anticompetitivewhat is the way restricts API, modifies look for charts and sets default applications. Ministry of Justice antitrust department is reported considering Apple with other major technology companies, including Google,, though details about Apple’s probe remain unclear.
“The truth is that Apple has expanded its advertising business and, through its upcoming changes to iOS 14, is trying to move free internet to paid apps and services where they make money,” Facebook told Ars Technica. “As a result, they use their dominant market position to prefer their own data collection, while making it almost impossible for their competitors to use the same data. They say it’s about privacy, but it’s about profit. “
This feud has been going on for some time. In August, Facebook warned that the iOS update could reduce publishers’ revenue through its audience network by up to 50%. This month, Facebook also said it was forced to remove the version of Facebook Gaming available through the App Store due to TOS restrictions.
“Unfortunately, we had to completely remove the game’s functionality in order to get Apple’s approval for the standalone Facebook Gaming app – which means that iOS users have a lower experience than those who use Android,” wrote CEO Cheryl Sandberg. in a statement.