Apple is on the edge of rolling out one of its major Privacy-based updates for iOS and iPadOS. This update is designed to give users more control over which apps can track them across the internet. While this update will have an impact on many platforms that make use of widespread tracking techniques, Facebook will be one of the prime suspects. Ahead of this change, the social networking giant has started introducing pop-up messages that remind users of the major benefits of data collection and digital fingerprint tracking across various platforms. Facebook expects these pop-up messages to convince users to allow the tracking options even after the iOS update.
As a part of this campaign, Facebook even published a blog post, which says that collecting data from users allows the social networking platform to help small businesses. In the said blog post, Facebook claims that personalized ads are designed to help the users and merchants at the same time. Added as an update to the blog post originally published in December, Facebook has said that it disagrees with Apple’s approach. Still, it would comply with the necessary designs for its iOS/iPadOS apps. The company also makes a rather baseless claim that it can protect users’ privacy even when offering personalized advertising.
“If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change. If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you. Agreeing to these prompts doesn’t result in Facebook collecting new types of data,” says Facebook in its justification blog post. While this blog post is designed well and offers a compelling argument as to why users may want to let Facebook apps continue tracking them, the statement should be read with a grain of doubt. This is because Facebook has been a part of many privacy-invasion issues in the past. It is clear that the platform generates a notable amount of its revenue from personalized ads.
On the business aspect of things, Facebook seems worried about the impacts of the privacy changes that iOS will receive in the coming weeks. During its interactions with investors, the Facebook team has added that such an iOS upgrade would be detrimental to the growth and revenue patterns of the social network. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, and CEO of the company even claimed that Apple was using its prominent place to control other apps (including Facebook’s apps) to give preferential treatment to Apple apps on the devices. Therefore, the latest blog post from Facebook seems quite contradictory.
On the other hand, Apple says it has designed this feature to improve the overall transparency of the iPhone experience. It is worth noting that Apple does not prevent any developer from collecting user data and using it for advertising needs. Instead, the latest iOS version would make it mandatory for the developers to stay transparent about these data-collection and usage practices. If users are willing to keep using an app that collects information from them regularly, that is also possible. It is this second possibility that the social networking site is planning to achieve through the reminder pop-ups.