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Thursday, 17 December 2020

Facebook slams Apple in new ad campaign over iPhone privacy changes, arguing it will devastate small businesses and see their sales cut by 60%

 Facebook is publicly slamming Apple over upcoming iPhone privacy changes that the social media giant says will devastate small businesses that rely on targeted ads - as it accused the tech giant of anti-competitive behavior. 

The world's biggest social media company took out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements attacking Apple on Wednesday in what Facebook said was a show of support for small businesses.  

At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple's iOS 14.4, which will go live next year and require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes. 

Facebook says Apple's own personalized ad platform will be exempt from the new prompt requirement the iPhone maker is planning to impose on other companies. 

Facebook has accused Apple of engaging in anti-competitive practices with the changes, which it says will cut small businesses off from desperately needed customers.  

Facebook took out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements attacking Apple on Wednesday in what Facebook said was a show of support for small businesses

Facebook took out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements attacking Apple on Wednesday in what Facebook said was a show of support for small businesses

'Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of creators and small businesses. Full stop,' Facebook Vice President for Ads and Business Products Dan Levy said on Wednesday. 

 Apple has responded to the accusation, claiming that '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,' a spokesperson said. 

'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 changes will restrict companies, including Facebook, from gathering data on users to provide personalized ads for users. 

Facebook argued in its advertising campaign that changes will be 'devastating' to small businesses. It briefly mentioned that its own business, which earns revenue from advertisement sales, would also be affected by the Apple changes. 

In addition to the ads, Facebook also created a new website on the iOS changes with a banner that reads: 'Small businesses deserve to be heard'.

'Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60 percent in their sales for every dollar they spend,' Facebook's ad read, citing its own data. 

'While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses, adding to the many challenges they face right now.' 

At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple's iOS 14 that will require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes

At the crux of the issue is changes to Apple's iOS 14 that will require users to give permission in order for apps to track them for advertising purposes

Facebook also created a new website on the iOs changes with a banner that reads: 'Small businesses deserve to be heard'

Facebook also created a new website on the iOs changes with a banner that reads: 'Small businesses deserve to be heard' 

The changes to the iPhone privacy feature will ask for users' permission before companies and apps are allowed to track their online activity. 

Users will be able to deny or approve it with a click of a button under the changes. Currently, consent for tracking is done in the setting area of the iPhone under the privacy tab.

It is expected that most users will likely decline to consent.      

It was set to launched this year, but Apple pushed the rollout date to allow developers more time to make changes to comply with the new rules. It is rumored to be released in March. 

Apple has said that the feature aims to give people more choice over how they want to be tracked by companies on the internet – and the ability to say no if they don't want tracking. 

Facebook said that although the company disagreed with Apple's approach, it would comply with the new rules and display a prompt. 

'We don't have a choice if we want our app to be available in the App Store,' Levy said. 

He declined to say whether Facebook would take any action to push back against the policy. 

The series of advertisements from Facebook is just the latest in the ongoing feud with Apple and the iOS changes.    

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg slammed Apple over the summer, saying the changes will cripple app makers' ability to make money from targeted advertising

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg slammed Apple over the summer, saying the changes will cripple app makers' ability to make money from targeted advertising

Facebook had slammed Apple over the summer, saying the changes will cripple app makers' ability to make money from targeted advertising. 

Apple had hit back saying: 'When invasive tracking is your business model, you tend not to welcome transparency and customer choice.' 

Changes coming to iOS software powering iPhones and iPads includes requiring apps to ask permission of users to collect and share device-identifying data. 

'With iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, you will need to receive the user's permission through the AppTrackingTransparency framework to track them or access their device's advertising identifier,' Apple said in an online post aimed at developers.

'Tracking refers to the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies' apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.'

Such data is relied on for targeting ads in ways that make them more relevant and likely to make money, according to Facebook.

Tests found that revenue from the Audience Network platform that lets Facebook's system work behind the scenes to target ads in apps fell by more than half when personalization was thwarted, an online post by the social network explained.

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