Facebook attacks Apple over privacy feature

Facebook has attacked Apple's plans to warn iOS users about the data access it has when users install the app on their Apple gadgets.

The delayed Apple privacy control on a future version of iOS for Facebook and other apps has drawn a serious reaction from Facebook, which has held a press conference about it accompanied by full page ads in major US newspapers.

Facebook is fearful that Apple users will be put off from installing Facebook after being given a privacy prompt or alternatively working out how to turn off tracking features in Facebook.

The social media giant relies on the tracking features to make more money from its advertisers, and has used its adverts against the Apple feature to highlight how small businesses using its targeted ads could be affected.

It also claims its advertising technology is a major reason why internet users are able to get free content to their gadgets, instead of having to pay for it advertising-free.

Apple however has retorted that users should have the choice when it comes to the privacy of their data, and claims that its own users will also be warned about the tracking features of Apple apps - including its own advertising platform - after being accused by Facebook that they wouldn't.

If more content - including games and news - ended up being paid for, it would benefit Apple, as it takes almost a third of the sale when it is sold through its App Store.

Dan Levy, Facebook vice-president of ads, said Facebook needs to track users' activities across other apps and websites in order to help its advertisers target their posts at people who would be the most responsive.

He maintains that preventing this from happening "truly impacts" not Facebook, but local businesses like coffee shops and small retailers, as they would not be able to afford mass campaigns that would need to be seen by more people to generate the same amount of sales.

Levy said: "Yes, there will be an impact to Facebook's diversified ads business, but it will be much less than what will befall small businesses."

Apple responded: "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 they give users a choice."

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