Facebook Says Apple's Upcoming Anti-Tracking Prompt is 'More About Profit Than Privacy' [Updated]

Facebook today in a blog post claimed that Apple's upcoming anti-tracking privacy-focused change in iOS 14 will have a "harmful impact on many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever." Facebook has also launched a "Speak Up For Small Business" page.

ios 14 tracking permission prompt
"We disagree with Apple's approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show Apple's prompt," said Facebook. "If we don't, they will block Facebook from the App Store, which would only further harm the people and businesses that rely on our services. We cannot take this risk on behalf of the millions of businesses who use our platform to grow."

A refresher on the situation: Starting early next year, Apple will require apps to get opt-in permission from users to collect their random advertising identifier, which advertisers use to deliver personalized ads and track how effective their campaigns were. This will occur in the form of a prompt that shows up when users open apps on iOS 14.

In a list of grievances, Facebook said Apple's anti-tracking change is "about profit, not privacy," claiming that small businesses will be forced to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, in turn benefitting Apple's bottom line. Facebook also accuses Apple of setting a double standard, claiming that the iPhone maker's own personalized ad platform is not subject to the upcoming iOS 14 policy:

1. They're creating a policy — enforced via iOS 14's AppTrackingTransparency — that's about profit, not privacy. It will force businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, meaning Apple will profit and many free services will have to start charging or exit the market.

2. They're hurting small businesses and publishers who are already struggling in a pandemic. These changes will directly affect their ability to use their advertising budgets efficiently and effectively. Our studies show, without personalized ads powered by their own data, small businesses could see a cut of over 60% of website sales from ads. We don’t anticipate the proposed iOS 14 changes to cause a full loss of personalization but rather a move in that direction over the longer term.

3. They're not playing by their own rules. Apple's own personalized ad platform isn't subject to the new iOS 14 policy.

4. We disagree with Apple's approach, yet we have no choice but to issue their prompt. If we don’t, we'll face retaliation from Apple, which could only further harm the businesses we want to support. We can't take that risk.

Facebook tones down its language a bit further into the blog post, claiming that Apple's anti-tracking change is "more" about profit than privacy.

Facebook accuses Apple of making "far-reaching changes without input from the industry and the businesses most impacted" in an effort to push businesses and developers into a business model that benefits the company's bottom line. "The truth is, these moves are part of Apple's strategy to expand their fees and services business," said Facebook.

"We believe Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses," said Facebook. "We continue to explore ways to address this concern."

As one course of action, Facebook is now showing its support for Fortnite maker Epic Games' antitrust lawsuit against Apple. Facebook said that it will be providing the court overseeing the case with information on how Apple's policies have adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who rely on its platform.

In the meantime, Facebook has outlined steps that small businesses and other advertisers can take to prepare for Apple's anti-tracking change.

Update: In response to Facebook, Apple created a graphic explaining that Facebook can tell people people why they should allow tracking, and also provided a statement:

We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not. App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice.

We've covered Apple's response in more detail in a follow-up story.

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...

Top Rated Comments

thewhitehart Avatar
47 months ago
"If we don't, they will block Facebook from the App Store...”

One can only dream. Facebook is a disease.
Score: 164 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FaustsHausUK Avatar
47 months ago
Kindly: get bent, Facebook.
Score: 144 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trevorep Avatar
47 months ago
I have a small business as a side job. When I post on Facebook from my business page Facebooks algorithms are setup so basically no one ever sees it, even if they have liked my page. They made this change a few years ago as a HUGE money grab. Don't even get me started on the way they treat small businesses on Instagram.
Score: 116 Votes (Like | Disagree)
julesme Avatar
47 months ago
The fact that Facebook is desperate to prevent users from opting out of targeted tracking tells you everything you need to know about their business model.

There's nothing wrong with Apple pursuing its profit motive. The key distinction is how Apple and Facebook generate profit. Only one of these companies generates 99% of its profit from advertising. The other is a hardware company.
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redcaptrickster Avatar
47 months ago
Something...something...glass houses...something...something...stones...
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yurc Avatar
47 months ago
Why is Suckerberg is so persistent ? Maybe he afraid no longer able to play his favorite tune?

Credits :

Nitrozac & Snaggy ('http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1596.html')

Attachment Image
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)