Privacy Wars: Apple vs. Facebook
by Jim Lundy
It is a war that will get uglier before it gets better. The war is over who gets to steal your data through of your phone and your web browsing habits. I’m talking about what we refer to as privacy wars. Apple is forcing providers to notify users if an app is going to track you. Facebook is outraged about this; hence the title privacy wars.
What Is this Privacy Thing About?
Apple has decided to be the honest broker on privacy and has fully stated that it supports initiatives such as GDPR. Not every other provider in the tech world agrees with this, and Apple has faced some pushback and resent from other market players.
IOS 14 and App Tracking Transparency
IOS 14 is here and with it comes better transparency. What Facebook is upset about is that later in the Spring (March?), iOS 14 will require users to give permission for apps such as Facebook to track a user’s activity. This is called App Tracking Transparency. This capability is coming as a beta test and then will go live in the Spring.
Apple and Google Workplace Apps Will Be Compliant
Google has already announced that their apps will be iOS 14 compliant and Apple will also make its apps fully compliant. The holdout is Facebook.
Will Facebook Sue Apple?
There is speculation (source: The Information) that Facebook may attempt to sue apple over the App Tracking Transparency feature. The truth is that most of the apps you use on your phone actually share your data with other firms. The leading firm that they share information with is Facebook.
Privacy is Job #1
Our take is that Facebook’s move to try to stop Apple will fail. The bottom line is that the concern for user privacy is here and, even now, Facebook is violating GDPR rules here in the US and in Europe. Apple gets credit for taking a stance and this is good for everyone.
Apple has taken a stance that privacy is important. Facebook does not like it but we feel they will have no choice but to comply. Everyone wins here - and while Facebook’s ad business might suffer, they have had a year to figure this out. Google did - and now Facebook needs to act.