EFF calls Facebook’s opposition of Apple’s new ATT privacy feature ‘laughable’

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has come out in support of Apple’s upcoming ATT privacy feature and called Facebook’s ad campaign attacking the new iOS 14 privacy update “laughable”.  The EFF is an international digital rights non-profit organization based in San Fransico, USA. The digital rights organization states that Facebook distracting users by making this a fight for small businesses and is trying to “derail pro-privacy changes from Apple that are bad for Facebook’s business.”

Coming to iOS 14 in early 2021, the (App Tracking Transparency) ATT privacy update will obligate all developers to get users’ permission before tracking their activities across apps and websites on iPhone. On December 17, Facebook began an ad campaign attacking Apple’s new ATT privacy feature by publishing full-page ads in the major U.S leading newspapers titled “We are standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere”, and “Apple vs. Free internet.” Both the ads call the new iOS 14 privacy update harmful for small businesses because, without targetted ads, their sales will drop by 60%.

In response to Facebook’s campaign, Apple released a detailed official statement clarifying that the social media platform will still be able to track users but will have to get their permission first so that users are aware of data collection and tracking and the new ATT privacy feature will help the mobile ad industry to boom instead of marginalizing it. EFF applauds Apple’s for protecting users privacy and said that,

Overall, AppTrackingTransparency is a great step forward for Apple. When a company does the right thing for its users, EFF will stand with it, just as we will come down hard on companies that do the wrong thing. Here, Apple is right and Facebook is wrong.

EFF calls Facebook’s ads, attacking Apple ATT privacy feature, laughable

The organization slammed Facebook for wrongly portraying itself as the savior of small businesses and in reality, the social media company is playing the opposite role.

Make no mistake: this latest campaign from Facebook is one more direct attack against our privacy and, despite its slick packaging, it’s also an attack against other businesses, both large and small.

Facebook touts itself in this case as protecting small businesses, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook has locked them into a situation in which they are forced to be sneaky and adverse to their own customers. The answer cannot be to defend that broken system at the cost of their own users’ privacy and control.

EFF explains that Facebook is currently monetizing from its “surveillance-powered advertising” to run targeted ads and the benefits don’t reach developers or creators.

In reality, a number of studies have shown that most of the money made from targeted advertising does not reach the creators of the content—the app developers and the content they host.  Instead, the majority of any extra money earned by targeted ads ends up in the pockets of these data brokers. Some names are very well-known, like Facebook and Google, but many more are shady companies that most users have never even heard of.

Facebook asking people to support it to maintain its current position of tremendous power by allowing invasive app tracking on smartphones which violate users’ fundamental human right to privacy; apps discreetly access users’ microphones, cameras, and location to monitor their activities to show personalized ads. And in extreme cases, users’ private or confidential information is leaked to miscreants.

Apple’s new ATT privacy feature will be users’ defense against digital invasion of their privacy by obligating all apps, including Apple’s will have to ask users permission before tracking them. Therefore, in this battle of money vs. protection, EFF calls Facebook wrong and asks the ad industry to respect users’ privacy.

we recognize that businesses are in a bind because of Facebook’s dominance and the overpromises of the ad industry. So if we want small businesses to be able to compete, we need to make it a level playing field. If one app needs to ask for permission, all of them should, including Facebook itself. This points the way, again, to the need for a baseline privacy law that protects and empowers users. We hope app developers will join us in pushing for a privacy law so that they can all compete on the same grounds, instead of the worst privacy violators having (or, being perceived as having) a leg up.

Mozilla Foundation and Digital and Human rights organizations are also in support of the Apple ATT privacy update. They say that the ATT privacy feature will give users control over their data

About the Author

Snapchatter and Apple fangirl, covers everything about social media, app reviews and Apple news.