Facebook expresses “no choice” but to accept upcoming ATT privacy update in iOS 14

In an email sent to businesses, Facebook expresses disapproval of Apple’s upcoming ATT privacy update on iOS 14 and mentions that it has “no choice’ but to comply.  iMore reports over the fear of being removed from the App Store, Facebook has agreed to show the ‘opt-out’ prompt as required by the new privacy update.

App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy update will give users control over their data by choosing to ‘opt-out’ of tracking across third-party apps and websites on iPhones. Currently, to protect users’ privacy Apple uses IDFA (Identifiers for Advertisers) which allocatesa unique code to each iPhone so that data is not personally identifiable. Now the company is increasing users’ privacy on the iOS platform by making developers ‘ask permission’ for IDFA tracking. And Facebook is concerned that the majority of users will opt-out of tracking which will adversely its personalized ad business model by collecting users’ data, as much as possible.

Facebook to show ‘opt-out’ prompt of ATT privacy update

Ahead of the release of Apple’s ATT privacy feature, Facebook ran a national ad campaign in the United States against the company. The social media company stated that Apple wants to control “free internet” and harm small businesses by reducing their revenue obtained by personalized ads. Apple’s response clarified that it is stopping invasive app tracking by seeking users’ consent to track their data and activity.

Facebook received backlash not only for the campaign but for jeopardizing users’ privacy. Besides Human and Digital rights organizations, its own employees were not convinced by the social media company’s line of argument against ATT privacy feature. Therefore, now Facebook is not unwillingly preparing for the upcoming privacy changes on iOS 14. Reportedly the social media giant said that “Apple could block Facebook and its other apps from the App Store if it doesn’t comply, bringing further harm to the businesses and users that rely on our services.”

Apple’s requirement that all apps in the App Store show a prompt to iOS 14 users in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework will have hard-hitting implications across targeting, optimization, and measuring campaign effectiveness for businesses that advertise on mobile devices and across the web. Apple’s changes will benefit them, while hurting the industry and the ability for businesses of all sizes to market themselves efficiently and grow through personalized advertising. We believe that personalized ads and user privacy can coexist.

Furthermore, Facebook reminded businesses that “if users do opt-out of IDFA tracking it will result in potentially reduced ad effectiveness and limitations on measurement”.

Addressing mobile advertisers’ concerns, Apple head of software Craig Federighi said that the new ATT privacy feature will not harm the ad industry instead it will be beneficial like the ITP feature on Safari.

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