Apple borks Facebook’s pervasive personal data-harvesting operation

“Apple’s software-focused event on Monday was a momentous moment — for Facebook,” Shira Ovide reports for Bloomberg. “Many websites (including Bloomberg Opinion) have small icons to let people easily share articles or other pieces of web information to social networks, including Facebook, or to ‘like’ that piece of digital information. Those website icons are also part of Facebook’s massive data-harvesting system. When websites have those icons, they send information about people’s web activity back to Facebook, which uses the information to fill out the personal digital dossiers they have on billions of people in order to improve how it tailors the advertisements Facebook sells. Many Facebook users aren’t aware that the company collects information about non-Facebook websites that people visit, even if they don’t click on any of those ‘like’ or “share” buttons.”

“As part of what Apple says is a commitment to digital privacy, the company’s Safari web browsers for Mac computers, iPhones and iPads will start showing pop-up alerts to people every time they’re surfing a website that is beaming information on their activity back to the mother ships at Facebook or other companies,” Ovide reports. “The person then has a chance to click yes or no to sharing web-browser information with Facebook or others. The Safari policy change isn’t specifically targeted at Facebook, but it also is specifically targeted at Facebook, given its pervasive information collection about web activity.”

“Many people will reflexively click ‘yes’ all the time so they can keep web surfing,” Ovide writes. “But I suspect that after everything the public has heard about Facebook in the last 18 months, a decent number of others will reflexively chose ‘no’ when asked whether they want to permit Facebook to track their activity. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Whatever hurts Facebook et al. is fine with us.

Of course, expect the data-harvesters to have workarounds ready to go by the time iOS 12 launches in a few months, if they don’t have them already.

Apple requested ‘zero’ personal data in deals with Facebook – CEO Tim Cook – June 5, 2018
Facebook CEO blasts Apple’s latest privacy protections as ‘cute virtue signaling’ – June 5, 2018


  1. This also damages Google’s data mining efforts also, and certainly greatly damages FaceBook’s and Google’s mining on mobile devices…

    The more privacy Apple can provide users, while hurting it’s competitors revenue stream (sell you to advertisers – and beyond), all the better.

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