Apple and Facebook’s Privacy War, Explained
Why the social media giant is worried about Apple's new data tracking policies
Facebook has become increasingly worried about Apple’s upcoming privacy measures.
Last week during an earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Apple’s recent privacy claims, suggesting that the FB-owned WhatsApp offers better user protection than Apple’s iMessage. “We have a lot of competitors who make claims about privacy that are often misleading,” he said on the call, according to Business Insider.
This week in what’s seen as a preemptive move, Facebook announced they would be sending pop-up notifications to Apple users asking for permission to track them for ad targeting reasons, appealing to those users with the suggestion that they would be “support[ing] business that rely on ads to reach customers.”
Some of this back-and-forth started when Apple introduced “Privacy Nutrition Labels” in its app store, a policy that supposedly labels exactly how your data is being used by different apps; a noble goal, but its transparency and enforcement have come under scrutiny. More recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested “technology does not need vast troves of personal data, stitched together across dozens of websites and apps, in order to succeed,” which is pretty much an attack on Facebook’s entire revenue model.
So, what really prompted this battle?
Is Apple really that concerned about how data is being used and abused? Probably. Are they controlling their own tech ecosystem in a way that’ll also probably earn them more money? Sure. Are some Facebook employees correct when they note that their company, which makes billions in ad profits and has a rather checkered history with how user data is being used, is “not a compelling victim?”
That’s a transparent truth.
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