Apple is locking horns with the Menlo Park-based social media giant Facebook over its criticism of the new restrictions being introduced on the iPhones that will prevent ad targeting without the consent of the users. Jane Horvath, senior director of global privacy at Apple, called out Facebook for having “disregard for user privacy”, in a letter to Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy groups.
The ad targeting restrictions, that Facebook is fuming over, are being introduced as part of a new update to the latest iOS 14. The change will disallow app developers to use the IDFA identifiers to target specific ads on users, using their private data. Instead, the power will now lie in the hands of the users to give consent to individual applications for using their data to target advertisements.
Facebook has been known to be at the forefront of this practice of using user data to target ads. When Apple announced the change in iOS earlier this year, the social media platform was quick to respond and bash Apple for its moves. It mainly pointed out that Apple’s own apps will not be subjected to these new rules. Facebook was very vocal with its statements as it took to its blog to post its views on the change.
The Mark Zuckerberg-owned company added that the change will affect small businesses and publishers more than the company itself. In an explanation of its “Audience Network”, Facebook said that thousands of publishers and businesses rely on its platform to market their goods and services. Facebook’s targeted ad service gives these businesses an opportunity to reach an accurate audience. The company also expected a loss in revenues if these changes were to take place.
Apple seems to not take Facebook’s bashing quite well as Jane Horvath was very open with her criticism for Facebook in the letter. She said that the company just wants to make life a bit tough for advertisers to track people across iPhone apps. “we simply think tracking should be transparent and under user control,” she said.
Jane also denied the allegations that Apple will be exclusively exempted from these rules. She said that the Cupertino-based company does not individually track users for ad targeting or work with third parties to do so.
Jane further wrote, “By contrast, Facebook and others have a very different approach to targeting. Facebook executives have made clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible across both first and third party products to develop and monetize detailed profiles of their users, and this disregard for user privacy continues to expand to include more of their products.”
Facebook spokeswoman Ashley Zandy responded to the letter from Jane and said, “the truth is Apple has expanded its business into advertising and through its upcoming iOS 14 changes are trying to move the free internet into paid apps and services where they profit. As a result, they are using their dominant market position to self-preference their own data collection while making it nearly impossible for their competitors to use the same data. They claim it’s about privacy, but it’s about profit.”