Tim Cook hits back at Facebook in row over iPhone privacy updatesDecember 18, 2020
Silicon Valley at war over privacy: Tim Cook hits back at Facebook and says users should be given ‘the choice’ over where their data goes – after social media giant slammed Apple in national ad campaign
- Apple CEO Tim Cook hit back at Facebook in a tweet on Thursday night
- ‘We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used,’ he wrote
- It came after Facebook took out a series of newspaper ads slamming Apple on Wednesday
- The social media giant says that upcoming iPhone privacy changes will hurt small businesses that rely on targeted ads
- At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple’s iOS 14 that will require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes
- The changes will restrict companies, including Facebook, from gathering data on users to provide personalized ads
- In his tweet Cook emphasized that companies will still be able to gather data under the new iPhone update – if users consent
Apple CEO Tim Cook hit back at Facebook after the social media giant publicly slammed upcoming iPhone privacy changes it said will devastate small businesses that rely on targeted ads
Apple CEO Tim Cook has hit back at Facebook after the social media giant publicly slammed upcoming iPhone privacy changes that it claims will devastate small businesses that rely on targeted ads.
Silicon Valley’s latest war over privacy erupted on Wednesday as Facebook took out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements accusing Apple of anti-competitive behavior.
At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple’s iOS 14.4, which will go live next year and require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes.
Cook took to Twitter on Thursday night to defend the changes and dismiss Facebook’s claims that it would cut small businesses off from customers.
‘We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used,’ he wrote.
‘Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.’
Cook included a photo of a notification that users will be given asking whether they want apps like Facebook to track their activity.
Cook took to Twitter on Thursday to defend the privacy changes under iOS 14 and dismiss Facebook’s claims that it would cut small businesses off from customers. He included a photo of a notification users will be given asking whether they want apps like Facebook to track them
Facebook took out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements attacking Apple on Wednesday in what the social media giant said was a show of support for small businesses
Cook did not address Facebook’s claim that Apple’s own personalized ad platform will be exempt from the new prompt requirement imposed on other companies.
‘Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of creators and small businesses. Full stop,’ Facebook Vice President for Ads and Business Products Dan Levy said on Wednesday.
Before Cook spoke out, Apple responded to Facebook’s accusations by saying ‘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,’ a spokesperson said Wednesday.
‘App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice.’
The changes will restrict companies, including Facebook, from gathering data on users to provide personalized ads for users.
At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple’s iOS 14 that will require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes
Facebook argued in its advertising campaign that changes will be ‘devastating’ to small businesses. It briefly mentioned that its own business, which earns revenue from advertisement sales, would also be affected by the Apple changes.
In addition to the ads, Facebook also created a new website on the iOS changes with a banner that reads: ‘Small businesses deserve to be heard’.
‘Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60 percent in their sales for every dollar they spend,’ Facebook’s ad read, citing its own data.
‘While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses, adding to the many challenges they face right now.’
The changes to the iPhone privacy feature will ask for users’ permission before companies and apps are allowed to track their online activity.
Users will be able to deny or approve it with a click of a button under the changes. Currently, consent for tracking is done in the setting area of the iPhone under the privacy tab.
It is expected that most users will likely decline to consent.
It was set to launched this year, but Apple pushed the rollout date to allow developers more time to make changes to comply with the new rules. It is rumored to be released in March.
Facebook also created a new website on the iOs changes with a banner that reads: ‘Small businesses deserve to be heard’
Apple has said that the feature aims to give people more choice over how they want to be tracked by companies on the internet – and the ability to say no if they don’t want tracking.
‘We welcome in-app advertising and are not prohibiting tracking. We’re simply requiring each app to obtain explicit user consent in order to track so that it will be more transparent and under user control,’ Apple said.
Adding that developers will still be able to track users so long as they gain consent.
Facebook said that although the company disagreed with Apple’s approach, it would comply with the new rules and display a prompt.
‘We don’t have a choice if we want our app to be available in the App Store,’ Levy said.
He declined to say whether Facebook would take any action to push back against the policy.
The series of advertisements from Facebook is just the latest in the ongoing feud with Apple and the iOS changes.
Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg slammed Apple over the summer, saying the changes will cripple app makers’ ability to make money from targeted advertising
Facebook had slammed Apple over the summer, saying the changes will cripple app makers’ ability to make money from targeted advertising.
Apple had hit back saying: ‘When invasive tracking is your business model, you tend not to welcome transparency and customer choice.’
‘Facebook executives have made clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible across both first and third party products to develop and monetise detailed profiles of their users, and this disregard for user privacy continues to expand to include more of their products,’ Apple said.
Changes coming to iOS software powering iPhones and iPads includes requiring apps to ask permission of users to collect and share device-identifying data.
‘With iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, you will need to receive the user’s permission through the AppTrackingTransparency framework to track them or access their device’s advertising identifier,’ Apple said in an online post aimed at developers.
‘Tracking refers to the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.’
Such data is relied on for targeting ads in ways that make them more relevant and likely to make money, according to Facebook.
Tests found that revenue from the Audience Network platform that lets Facebook’s system work behind the scenes to target ads in apps fell by more than half when personalization was thwarted, an online post by the social network explained.
As of iOS 14.3 certain apps provide privacy information within the app store as a ‘nutrition card’ showing what information is tracked
The latest live version of iOS, iOS 14.3 added privacy ‘nutrition labels’ to apps in the App Store showing what information an app holds on its users.
It is split into three different categories. These are Data used to track you, data linked to you and data not linked to you.
Facebook didn’t come off well, with their entry stretching across multiple pages and a total of 650 words.
Information included contact details, identifiers, health and fitness, financial information, browsing history, usage data, purchases, location and contacts.
Apple says it has been working since 2003 to preserve user privacy on the web by limiting tracking between websites and this is the first step at taking on the challenge for tracking in apps available through iOS.
Tracking can be invasive and as a result, Apple said it believes that tracking should be transparent to users and under their control.
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