Facebook’s profits depended on trampling it users’ privacy. Apple put a stop to that. Now what?

For years, Facebook-parent Meta Platform’s profits depended on trampling it users’ privacy, but Apple put a stop to that with its App Tracking Transparency which allows Apple device users – the most valuable users – to choose whether an app can track their activity across other companies’ apps and websites for the purposes of advertising or sharing with data brokers. Most users value their privacy and therefore decline to do so. Consequently, Meta Platforms has seen a massive decline in its once formidable advertising business, the engine of the company.

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg

In iOS 14.5 or later, iPadOS 14.5 or later, and tvOS 14.5 or later, apps must ask for permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device collected from an app is linked with information that identifies you or your device collected on apps, websites and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or advertising measurement, or when the information collected is shared with data brokers.

Apple's App Tracking Transparency

Alex Barinka for Bloomberg Businessweek:

There are many reasons for the dire situation at Meta Platforms Inc. The company, which has lost two-thirds of its market value this year and cut 11,000 jobs on Nov. 9, has been battered by damaging news about the political and social impact of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Investors are skeptical of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to pivot from social networking to the metaverse and worried about rising rivals such as ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok. And that’s to say nothing of the stresses on the broader economy and the digital advertising market.

But one factor looms above the rest: the changes to Apple Inc.’s privacy policies that have shaken the foundations of the targeted advertising industry… But last year, Apple changed its privacy policies in a way that significantly limited ad targeting on iOS devices, allowing users to decide whether to allow advertisers to track them. This made advertising with Meta more expensive, because less accurate marketers had to spend more money showing ads to the wrong type of person. Apple also prevented digital advertisers from accessing data needed to measure the outcomes of an ad after users clicked on it, making it more difficult to shift spending toward the most effective ads. In February, Meta estimated the changes would drag down revenue by $10 billion this year… All this is shaping up to be a major challenge for Meta, at a period of unprecedented stress on the company.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, that’s too bad.

The fact that Apple’s giving people the choice to be tracked or not via App Tracking Transparency hurts Facebook et al. not only highlights the inherent flaw in the business model of these societal cancers, it makes us laugh. 🤣MacDailyNews, October 26, 2021

All of these “social media” platforms – Twitter, Parler, Facebook – are cancers on society. They are clearly eating society from the inside out. There’s something unsavory within human nature that “digital distance” amplifies to the point of disgust.

If you quit these cancers you will quickly realize what they are and what they do. You will be happier and healthier to have excised them from your life.

We haven’t had personal Twitter or Facebook accounts for many years now. And very happily so.MacDailyNews, January 9, 2021

Facebook is to privacy as Chernobyl is to nuclear power.MacDailyNews, February 3, 2021

As I’ve said before, if we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated and sold, we lose so much more than data, we lose the freedom to be human… 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 reform… Too many are still asking the question, “how much can we get away with?” when they should be asking “what are the consequences?”Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 2021

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SSNs
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks

(Instant messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider in May 2010.)

If you trust Mark Zuckerberg to be the keeper of your photos, contacts, political views, religious beliefs, etc., you’re batshit insane. — MacDailyNews, May 23, 2018

We use FaceBook as an RSS feed. Our CMS automatically reposts our article headlines and links them back to our website. That is our only interaction with Facebook and has been our only interaction with Facebook for years. We deleted our personal accounts [which we opened only so we could understand the Facebook phenomenon] many years ago.

If you want to share photos and videos with friends, text them using Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage service. You need to control your social networking, not cede it to a gatekeeper like Facebook. – MacDailyNews, March 19, 2018

As we’ve said many times: Delete Facebook.

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  1. Obama’s TPP failed to get traction even after he strenuously promoted it with his silky smooth voice, and so he abandoned it. I am glad it failed: It would have created an exclusive court system parallel to the current Constitutional one in which a foreign company to sue the US federal gov. for loss of future revenue if the US prohibited the importation of an untrusted foreign product. It would have been staffed by corporate judges and lawyers.
    I wonder if FB could be brazen enough to adapt that failed legislation and sue Apple in our current courts for loss of future revenue.

  2. All well and good until Apple tracks their users, but even so, they get paid to let Google track you.

    And anyway, it’s my device and I have every right to be a devoted Facebook fanboy and allow them to track me. It’s not Apple’s business what I do with my property.

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