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'Standing up for our users': Apple replies after Facebook issues ad criticising iOS 14's privacy policy

Facebook, in the newspaper ads, had said that the new Apple privacy rules for iPhones could be devastating for small businesses.

December 17, 2020 / 10:23 AM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Apple has responded to Facebook’s full-page ad stating that users should know when their data is being collected and shared across apps and websites.

Facebook criticised Apple’s privacy policy by running ads in several newspapers and said the new rules limit businesses' ability to run personalised ads and reach their customers effectively.

Facebook, in the newspaper ads, said that the new Apple privacy rules could be devastating for small businesses. “While limiting how personalised ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses adding to the many challenges they face right now,” the Facebook ad read.

Earlier this month, Apple rolled out the App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14.3 update. The feature displays the type of user data that apps will collect.

Following the ad, an Apple spokesperson told CNBC that users should be aware when their data is being collected. Users also should have a choice to allow apps to collect their data. 

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“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,” the Apple spokesperson said in an email statement.

On being accused of not playing by its own rules, Apple said that its own apps and services have to comply with the tracking rules and that its own ad network, called SKAdNetwork, is free for developers and Apple doesn’t make any money off it.

This is the second time Facebook criticised Apple’s privacy policy in iOS 14. In August, the company said the feature significantly hampers Facebook’s ability to provide targeted ads to iPhone users, which could, in turn, have a devastating effect on the social media giant’s business.

The latest friction point with Apple comes after the iPhone-maker said that it would begin spelling out what kind of personal information is being collected by the digital services displayed in its app stores for iPhones and other products made by the company. 

Apple also has plans to impose a new mandate that will require all iPhone apps to obtain permission before tracking a person's activities on the device. That surveillance is currently done automatically by many apps and would force people to take the time and trouble to block the tracking in the settings of each app.

Starting next year, apps that do not follow or try to bypass the anti-tracking rule will be removed from the Apple App Store.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 17, 2020 10:15 am

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