Recently Apple has unleashed the latest operating system patch for its iPhones, iPad, and macOS users. Particularly, the iOS 14.5 in the iPhones causes many other tech giants to raise their eyebrows. The latest update in iPhone, along with other various additions and changes, also carries the App Tracking feature, which aims to enable the iPhone users, whether they allow the downloaded apps to collect their personal data or not. In case of denial, the third-party apps on iPhone will be refrained from collecting user’s data. The update requires that the app developers explicitly asked for permission to track user’s activity across Apple’s app store and the internet.
In response, Facebook decides to play smart and thus devises a strategy to explicitly show a pop-up notice to users where they have been told, if they want:
- More personalized ads.
- Facebook free of charge.
- Support businesses that rely on ads.
Then users should give permission to Facebook to track some data from their devices. The identical notice pop-up, carrying the same message, also happens to appear on Instagram’s iOS app.
The pop-up screen was first reported by Technology Researcher Ashkan Soltani on Saturday.
Since the news of that iOS 14.5 feature started taking rounds on the internet, the unrest among the top brass of widely used social media applications had become more evident.
This privacy update has pitted Apple and Facebook at loggerheads and reveals much about the data collection privacy of both companies as well. No wonder the update, unveiled by Apple’s iOS 14.5, impedes the path of every app that deals with its user’s data to display them the personalized ads. But after this update, the users will be more aware than ever and also can be reluctant as well.
Facebook had also officially shared its two cents on the iOS 14.5 update in its blog post of December 2020. The blog post with the title of “Speaking up for small businesses” was written by Dan Levy, Vice President of Ads & Business Products on Facebook.
“To help people make a more informed decision, we’re also showing a screen of our own, along with Apple’s. It will provide more information about how we use personalized ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free. If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change. If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you.”
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg also had censured the policies of Apple at the time of releasing Facebook’s January earning calls. The Facebook CEO accused Apple of interfering in the working model of Facebook’s app, specifically its ads revenue. Tim Cook from Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook also had exchanged hot words due to the disagreement on user’s data-handling issue. Facebook CEO also had appeared in the congressional hearings due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
On the other hand, as the third wave of the pandemic has hit the global community, Apple’s new installment of updates is more covid-centric and privacy-oriented. It brings the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, more diverse Siri voices, new privacy controls, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji, and much more.