Facebook vs. Apple vs. Facebook: A step up in the battle over commercials

The social media giant has released an ad against Apple’s privacy policy, as a follow – up to a battle that began last August. Each of them claims to be protecting the little citizen. Who will win?

Source: Pexels

Battles between tech giants are no stranger to us, but it seems Facebook has decided to take the front with their Apple to the next level and posted an entire page ad in major newspapers (yes, there are some and people still read them) against the giant from Cupertino. But what’s the story anyway?

In Zuckerberg’s previous episode vs. Cook

The specific campaign between the two began last August and revolves around a very important area for Facebook and that is of course the Fir-Su-Mot. The social network which is also one of the internet advertising giants has started attacking Apple towards a change in Apple’s privacy policy which was supposed to take effect with the update of the version to iOS 14.

The change in question will prevent advertisers, such as Facebook, from using information collected from users’ “Advertising ID” (or IDFA) – which is a unique profile for iOS users used for targeted advertising – without their explicit consent (opt-in, AA).

Facebook then argued that Apple’s change would lead to losses of about half of its advertising revenue through the Audience Networks division it operates and reportedly, the losses of Facebook and other advertising companies could reach hundreds of billions of dollars as a result of the move.

Facebook Ad Against Apple | From @DaveStangis’ Twitter page

And what now?

So it turns out that if Apple decided it was the privacy knight (kind of) with the move that would prevent advertisers from accessing the information of iOS users without their permission, then Facebook would become the knight of small businesses. According to the ad that posted its battle against Apple is generally a battle on behalf of those small businesses that will not be able to reach customers because of Apple’s move.

“While limiting the way targeted advertisements work will indeed affect larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating for small businesses,” Facebook wrote in an ad published in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Facebook also claimed that non-targeted advertisements based on users’ personal information would hurt small business sales by up to 60%.

In favor of Facebook it should be noted that it does allow even small businesses to expose themselves with ads on relatively low budgets, certainly compared to other traditional media like TV, radio and press – for which this ad is likely to have paid quite a bit.

What does Apple have to say on the subject?

Apple really did not keep quiet in the face of Facebook’s prominent ad and defended their decision to change the privacy policy with software updates. A spokesman for the company told Bloomberg that Apple “protects its users” and that “users need to know when their information is collected and shared on other apps and sites – and they need to be given the ability to decide whether or not to allow it.”

The spokesman added that “the transparency of apps’ tracking of iOS 14 users does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating personalized targeted advertisements – it only requires them to give users the choice.” That means Facebook can continue to target users and make personalized ads accessible to them, provided users confirm that they are interested.

While it can be said to be another ammunition in this battle, Apple has added “private labels” to its app store that show how each app follows users – with the Facebook app’s label for iOS running across several pages with all the information the app collects about its users.

Oshri Alexelsi

Your Friendly Neighborhood Geek. Do you have a technological story? Talk to me: Oshry@geektime.co.il

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