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.

Top Rated Comments

thewhitehart Avatar
42 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
42 months ago
Kindly: get bent, Facebook.
Score: 144 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trevorep Avatar
42 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
42 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
42 months ago
Something...something...glass houses...something...something...stones...
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yurc Avatar
42 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)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...