Facebook ‘s Laughable Campaign against Apple is strongly against consumers and small businesses

Facebook has recently launched a campaign as a protector of small businesses. This is a commendable effort from Facebook to draw you away from its good history anticompetitive behavior and privacy issues because it tries to block pro-privacy changes from Apple that are bad for the Facebook business.

Facebook’s campaign is focused on a new one AppTrackingTransparency feature on iPhones that require apps to ask users for permission before monitoring them over other apps and websites or before sharing their information with and from third parties. Asking trackers to ask for your permission before stalking across the internet should be an obvious baseline, and we recommend Apple for this change. However, having built a huge empire around the idea of ​​keeping track of everything you do by allowing applications to sell and share your data over a shady set of third-party companies, consumers and policymakers would like to believe otherwise.

Make no mistake: this latest campaign from Facebook is one more direct attack against our privacy and, despite its slow packaging, it is also an attack against other businesses, both large and small.

Change Apple

Apple has used AppTrackingTransparency for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. This type of permission interface is not new, and is similar to other permissions in iOS: for example, when an app requests access to your microphone, camera, or location. Applications typically require permission from the user to access specific device functions or data, and third-party tracking should be no different. (In an important limitation of AppTrackingTransparency, however, please note that this change will not affect first-party detection and data collection by the app itself.)

Allows users to choose which third-party tracking they suffer or do not get, and forces apps to request those permissions, giving users more knowledge about what apps are doing. helping to protect consumers from abuse, and allowing them to make the best decisions for themselves. . You can specify your AppTrackingTransparency settings app with an app, or set it to full for all apps.

This new feature from Apple is one more step in the right direction, reducing developer abuse by giving users experience and control over their own personal data.

Small Business and Business Ad

So why the situation from Facebook? Facebook claims that this change from Apple will hurt small businesses that benefit from access to targeted advertising services, but Facebook is not telling you the whole story. This is true of whoever benefits from the normalization of watch-powered advertising (ad: not consumers no small businesses), and what Facebook loses if its users learn more about exactly what it and other data brokers are behind the scenes.

For many years now, the behavior advertising industry has he encouraged the idea behavioral, targeted ads are better. These are the ads that will find you everywhere you go online, with sometimes very eerily results. This differs from “contextual” or non-contextual ads, which are based not on your personal information but on the content of the webpage you were visiting at the time. Many app developers seem to believe the targeted advertising hype. But are targeted ads better? And for who are they really better?

In truth, several studies have shown that most of the money made from targeted advertising does not reach the content creators – the developers of the app and the content they produce. hosting. Instead, most of any extra money earned by targeted ads ends up in the pockets of these data brokers. There are some very famous names, like Facebook and Google, but there are many more dubhar companies that most consumers haven’t even heard of.

Baseline: The Association of National Advertisers estimates that when the “ad tech tax” is taken into account, publishers only take home between 30 and 40 cents per dollar. [spent on ads]. “ The rest goes to third-party data brokers who keep the lights on by taking advantage of your information, and not to small businesses trying to work side-by-side. inside a broken system to reach the customers.

The fact is that very few companies control the online advertising market, and everyone else is at their mercy. Small businesses cannot compete with large advertising distribution networks alone. As the advertising industry has been promoting this festival that targeted advertising is better than other ways of reaching customers, anything else is likely to have less value in advertising markets. . That not only means that ads have a lower ad value if they are not targeted at consumers, but it also drives cash flow away from innovation that may be giving us a variety of advertising methods that do not involve accounting and aggressive targeting.

Facebook is building itself on this issue as protecting small businesses, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Facebook is building itself on this issue as protecting small businesses, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook is locked into a situation where they have to be cynical and negatively impact their own customers. The answer is not to be able to protect that broken system at the expense of users ’own privacy and control.

First of all, we should not allow companies to break our property basic human rights, even though it is better for their bottom line. Stripped of his glossy PR language, that’s what Facebook complains about. If businesses want our attention and money, they must do so by respecting our rights, including our right to privacy and control over our data.

Second, we recognize that businesses are connected because of the strength of Facebook and too much business advertising. So if we want small businesses to be able to compete, we have to make it an opportunity. If one app needs to ask permission, they should all, including Facebook itself. This marks the way, again, to the need for a baseline privacy law which protects and empowers consumers. We hope app developers join us to push for privacy law so they can all compete for the same reasons, instead of (or, being seen as it were) step up .

If we want small businesses to be able to compete, we need to make it an opportunity.

Overall, AppTrackingTransparency is a big step forward for Apple. When a company does the right thing for its customers, EFF stands by it, just as we come down hard on companies that do the wrong thing. Here, Apple is right and Facebook is wrong. Next step: Android should continue with the same protections. Your move, Google.