Facebook warns that Apple’s privacy-focused iOS 14 could utterly crush its ad network

Facebook wrote in the risk factors section of its most recent quarterly SEC filing: “We rely on data signals from user activity on websites and services that we do not control in order to deliver relevant and effective ads to our users. Our advertising revenue is dependent on targeting and measurement tools that incorporate these signals, and any changes in our ability to use such signals will adversely affect our business.”

Evan Niu for The Motley Fool:

Facebook app on iPhone
Facebook app on iPhone
This week, Facebook reiterated those risks, warning developers and advertisers that changes in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 14 could utterly crush its ad network.

At WWDC this summer, Apple outlined plans to improve privacy around Identification for Advertisers (IDFA) identifiers, a unique alphanumeric string that is used to identify devices for ad-targeting purposes. iOS 14 will give users greater control over how IDFA data is shared between apps, proactively prompting users for “permission to track you across apps and websites.” When the choice is put in such plain language, there’s a good chance that a lot of people will simply decline, crippling ad targeting in the process.

Facebook will stop collecting IDFA data for its own apps, a strategy that it believes will be more predictable for Facebook and its partners. “This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to [iOS 14] have forced this decision,” Facebook cautioned. “We know this may severely impact publishers’ ability to monetize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future.”

[Facebook] noted that it has observed a gut-wrenching 50% decline in Audience Network publisher revenue in its testing when personalization is turned off. In fact, the ultimate impact to Audience Network could even be worse than getting cut in half.

MacDailyNews Take: As we write back in September 2015: People who value privacy and security use Apple products.

Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data. — Steve Jobs, June 2010

The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017

Smart people who are concerned with protecting their privacy use Apple products. Certainly not Google and/or Facebook. — MacDailyNews, September 26, 2018


  1. It’s unbelievable how many people hate Facecrook yet they still thrive. I wish Craperburg would take a long walk off a short pier!!!

    How many times has Facecrook apologized to their customers for exposing their customer’s data??

    They should be shut down!!! CROOKS!

  2. I want “personalization” to be turned on, not off, so that I can control the outflow of my own personal/private data. But FB says that, “… 50% decline in Audience Network publisher revenue…when personalization is turned off.”

  3. It’s amusing how there are all these comments criticizing Facebook, but the number of Facebook subscribers continues to grow at a mind-boggling rate and the company is becoming wealthier by the day. There are likely more people who would give up their iPhones faster than they would give up Facebook. Apparently, nearly everyone on the planet absolutely loves Facebook and almost no one is concerned about having their personal data harvested and being constantly bombarded with ads. It’s said that there are 2.7 billion active Facebook users while Apple has about 1.5 billion active devices. Facebook’s popularity is absolutely beating Apple to death and nothing Apple can do with iOS will change that. I’m sure there are far more people who hate Apple than those who hate Facebook. Facebook is ‘free’ while Apple products are costly. That’s more than enough reason for people to hate Apple.

    I abhor all that social media crap but most people can’t live without it. Apple certainly can’t harm Facebook and Zuckerberg is making a mountain out of a molehill with his whining about Apple hurting his company or advertisers with an iOS update. That’s just crazy. It’s up to iPhone users to opt-out of targeted ads. Apple is only giving users a choice and Apple shouldn’t be criticized for that. I don’t think everyone will opt-out. Some people actually like ads if they’re relevant to that user.

    Nope, Facebook isn’t going anywhere but up in value. Zuckerberg will continue to win against all comers, Feds included.

  4. “Almost no one is concerned about having their personal data harvested” because I’d wager that most people (including the digital literati and particularly younger people comfortable with digital devices) aren’t really aware of all that Facebook does. Hardly anyone fully reads (or understands) the ToS of any company (let alone Facebook). Zuckerberg doesn’t seem the type to ” a mountain out of a molehill”… unless there were a reason.

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