Privacy Wars Part I: Apple Stands up for User Privacy Amid Facebook Complaints
by Jim Lundy
Apple is in the process of trying out its new iOS privacy features to protect users and allow them to opt out from services that track, including Facebook. Facebook is not happy about this and it has been running ads in major newspapers challenging Apples move.
The War to Track You—Why Apple Is the Good Guy
Facebook is trying to make Apple look like the bad guy, but in reality, Apple is actually protecting both users and enterprises by allowing them to opt out of highly intrusive tracking capabilities that are designed to profile you so that Facebook can sell you ads.
In the US many people are just becoming aware of some of the issues around privacy, but in Europe there are much stronger measures such as GDPR that allow people to try to opt out of being tracked.
Facebook claims this is an intrusion on small businesses but it’s really not. While tracking user behavior has always been part of the data that helps to fuel ads, the level of intrusive behavior demonstrated by Facebook has reached unprecedented levels. Many people don’t even realize that even if they don’t use Facebook they can still be tracked on websites that use Facebook cellular data.
Why Does Privacy Matter? It Comes Down to Data
What many people and enterprises don’t realize is that advertising platforms can be used to spy on you—both by companies with good intentions and companies or governments with bad intentions. Many attacks on enterprises occur from an executive social media account and passwords are often compromised.
Individuals and enterprises also need to realize companies such as Facebook can extract information from your cellular data or buy your data from third parties.
What Can Enterprises Do to Protect User Data and Privacy?
The bottom line is that Apple just helped the entire tech industry by taking a stand against the theft of user data. Facebook may not be able to sell the type of deeply personal ads that it wants to, but they will survive, and users and enterprises will be better off because of Apple’s moves. However, for most enterprises, they will need to go much further to protect their data and their users than just using iOS privacy policies alone.