Unlike Google and Microsoft, even Apple’s relationship with Facebook cannot be interpreted as free credits. They are almost diametrically opposed to the privacy spectrum, with Facebook as the poster child of violations and Apple as the protector for its protection. The latest bout of switching between the two on Facebook is revealing itself as a protector of small businesses that will be affected by the upcoming iOS privacy feature while Apple seems to be taking sides -users who have privacy have become monetized on the internet.
At the heart of the bakery between the two companies is the upcoming Declaration for Advertisers or IDFA which has been postponed until 2021 to give companies and advertisers time to prepare for D-Day. Under this new system, users will be given the option to opt out of targeted advertising. Facebook has issued a full-page ad lambing out the upcoming policy and accepting the cause of small businesses being hurt when giants, like Apple and itself, fight.
Apple has now responded, albeit with less bravado, and it stands up for the consumers who are often overwhelmed even by small businesses. It protects that the iOS 14 Transparency Tracking App will not block Facebook and anyone else from tracking users to serve personalized ads. It just gives users a choice not to be detected unless they want more than the necessary awareness.
Facebook’s controversy stems from how this new system basically blocks tracking instead of the current practice of forcing users to go through settings to disable tracking. It recognizes that most consumers may not enable tracking, taking away large and small businesses from targeted advertising revenue. In fact, it has been reported that Facebook is preparing yet another ad, this time focusing on how Apple threatens the free internet in this way.
While business advertising revenue could be hit by IDFA iOS 14, the real problem runs deeper than that. Advertising has certainly become one of the worst things on the internet and mobile but nonetheless it is also a way for some businesses to survive. Apple isn’t even by itself pushing against user tracking for targeted ads, as browser makers have also begun to turn the tide. Google, best known for its advertising businesses, seems to be quietly silent about the issue.