On the 27th of January, Facebook announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020. The opening statement by CEO Mark Zuckerburg was focused on Apple’s forthcoming anti-tracking privacy changes that will profoundly impact companies like Facebook that rely on online advertising, and the advertising industry as a whole.
Zuckerburg also said, in no unclear words, that Apple’s controversial new anti-tracking policy is for the company’s own vested interest, and not just to protect its users. Even though, Facebook has to abide by Apple’s new changes if it wants a place to stay on iPhones and iPads, it still has not stopped it from airing its grievances.
Facebook calls out Apple once more over its privacy changes
Apple’s iMessage app is preinstalled on iPhones, which allows it to become the most widely used messaging service in the United States, as compared to Facebook-owned WhatsApp. The Cupertino tech giant’s expanding investment in services also empowers it to compete with Facebook and other apps that utilize its iOS software platform.
We increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors. Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do. They say they are doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests.
Additionally, Zuckerburg said that Apple’s new privacy policies intend to flush out the competition as the policies put Apple’s first-party apps at a huge advantage with private APIs and special permissions that third-party apps will never have access to.
Facebook complaining about Apple’s anti-competitive privacy policies plays well for the antitrust complaints that have been launched against the company by the U.S. Department of Justice, amongst other official departments. The company is trying to paint the picture that it is not running the monopoly it is being accused of, rather it is a very small fish as compared to Apple’s practices.
Mark Zuckerburg has been speaking out against Apple for quite some time now, it even ran repeated warnings on Facebook to advertisers about how the upcoming privacy changes in iOS will affect small businesses. Still, Apple has not shown any signs of backing out and intends to implement these changes in full later this year.
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