Facebook plans to attempt to convince users allow the company to further invade their privacy by approving tracking of their iPhones and iPads in order to deliver personalized ads. Facebook will deliver a prompt will claim that users who allow access to their activity will support businesses that rely on personalized ads to reach customers.
Facebooks preemptive move comes just ahead of Apple’s roll out of privacy changes to iOS 14 that will ask users if they’d like to allow this kind of tracking.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Apple one of its biggest competitors and said the privacy changes will hurt the growth of “millions of businesses around the world.” The next day, Apple CEO Tim Cook alluded to Facebook in a speech at a data privacy conference in Brussels, saying, “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves scorn.”
The battle focuses on a unique device identifier on every iPhone and iPad called the IDFA. Companies that sell mobile advertisements, including Facebook, use this ID to help target ads and estimate their effectiveness.
With a forthcoming update to iOS 14, each app that wants to use these identifiers will ask users to opt in to tracking when the app is first launched. If users opt out, it will make these ads a lot less effective. Facebook has warned investors that these looming changes could hurt its advertising business as soon as this quarter.
MacDailyNews Take: The high level of panic that Apple has induced into the Facebook cancer is heartening.
Note that even if Facebook users somehow stupidly allow or are tricked into allowing tracking via Facebook’s prompts, if they choose not to allow tracking when Apple launches privacy prompts this spring, Facebook’s ability to track users in this way will be disabled.
Of course, the best way to ensure that you are not being tracked by Facebook in any manner is to not use Facebook.