Apple CEO fired back at Facebook saying users deserve control and transparency; unveils app tracking transparency in iOS 14
On Wednesday, Facebook launched a full-page newspaper ad attacking Apple over ad-tracking. Claiming to be standing up to the iPhone maker on behalf of small businesses, Facebook claimed in the ad that Apple’s upcoming mobile software changes around data gathering and targeted advertising are bad for small businesses. However, this is rich considering that Facebook is known for tracking millions of its users.
The changes Facebook was referring to has to do with the new app tracking transparency feature Apple is planning to include in its iOS 14, which is expected to launch in 2021. Apple said it “does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users.” Below is the statement in full:
“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 spar between the two companies did not stop there. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tom Cook rebuffed Facebook in a new tweet yesterday saying Apple “believes users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used.” In a shot at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cook said, “Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.”
We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first. pic.twitter.com/UnnAONZ61I
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) December 17, 2020
It all started after Facebook accused Apple in a blog post claiming that its 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.”
However, many Cook followers on Twitter agreed with Apple. One user by the Mcmeaty said, “If Facebook sees privacy transparency as such a threat to advertisements and other businesses, maybe they need to reflect on the morality of their business models.”
According to Apple, the new App Tracking Transparency framework essentially requests user authorization to access app-related data for tracking the user or the device. The new App Tracking Transparency feature will be accessible by opening the Settings app, then looking for the Privacy menu, and looking for the Tracking section. Then from there, users will be able to see which apps have required permission to track them and revoke or grant permission when necessary.
Apple does a very good job when it comes to privacy and security. However, it’s an awkward position for Facebook because the social giant makes most of its money from advertisements. Unlike Facebook, Apple makes most of its money you purchase their iPhones or their AirPods, subscription fees charged to developers on its AppStore, and other products and services. Apple does not make money off of user information.
Just a little over a year ago, we wrote about Facebook after a report that Facebook went as far as embedding tracking data inside its users’ photos. Edin Jusupovic, a cybersecurity expert and a law student (LLB) at UNE, noticed a structural abnormality when looking at a hex dump of an image file from an unknown origin only to discover it contained what he later found to be an IPTC special instructions. He later traced the data image file that originated from Facebook.