Grab your popcorn everyone, two of the biggest companies – let alone the biggest tech companies in the world – are going head to head over user privacy as Facebook reacts to Apple’s Privacy disclosures for apps in the latest version of it’s iPhone iOS software.
Way way back in June Apple announced that with iOS 14 Apps would be required to disclose clearly the privacy implications of their apps permissions and code. This is shown in the app store before an app is downloaded, and for those you already have, on launch with the latest iOS they will prompt you to agree to or not – certain features such as data tracking.
Despite the announcement in June, the privacy disclosures requirement only kicked in this week with the latest iOS update – and in the words of the 12th man “that’s when all hell broke loose”.
Facebook ran full page ads in the US and published a blog post online citing their defense of the little guy, the small businesses who would be disadvantaged by this.
Today, Tim Cook – Apple CEO responded, tweeting “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. 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.”
He even shared a helpful screen shot of what the user pop-up notification might look like for Facebook:
Now Facebook argue that among other things Apple is doing this for Profit, not Privacy. Suggesting that Apple is pushing companies toward Subscriptions.
I call BS on that, I mean Apple holds privacy at its core, and there’s no requirement whatsoever for users to subscribe to something, just to opt in or out of tracking.
If a user was let’s say – paying for Facebook, it would still be possible for Facebook to want this level of tracking!
Facebook’s whole business model is selling YOU – your data, what you do online, so that they – and the big AND small businesses who use Facebook to advertising products can better target their ads.
What really matters here is what permissions an app asks for.
Here’s an Apple app in the app store:
Now, it’s CLIPS, but Apple hardly has a comparable App to Facebook right?
Ok, wow, that’s gotta have you worried?
And it’s the difference between GETTING the info and LINKING it to you. That’s the key differentiator that is available.
I would have thought for Apple a bigger issue is Google, who do not yet have any privacy disclosures listed:
Facebook are wasting their time and money here. They themselves say “We disagree with Apple’s approach, yet we have no choice but to show their prompt.“
Still, it’s a fun fight to watch from the sidelines. After all the crap Facebook has been through with Cambridge Analytica and such – perhaps it’s just a good time to keep quiet and have some respect for people’s data?