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Data Privacy: Apple or Facebook?

Apple is rolling out its new App Tracking Transparency feature and Facebook is not happy about it.

The feature which will automatically be enabled on iOS in “early spring” will force app developers to ask iOS users for their permission to track and to share their information for cross-platform ad targeting. 

It is bad news for data brokers and other networks trying to serve mobile ads and measure response to them because once rolled out, iOS users will have to give permission first on whether they would like their information to be shared. 

With iOS users able to approve or reject the tracking and sharing of their data, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has criticized Apple publicly. According to him, these set of changes will put Facebook at a greater disadvantage competition-wise. 

His criticisms however, do not come as a surprise. Facebook, compared to Apple seems to be going in the opposite direction when it comes to data privacy. 

In recent news, WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy garnered wide outrage among users due to the fear that Facebook and its advertisers could potentially use customer service chats or transaction receipts between the two apps for marketing and advertising purposes. 

Due to the pushback, Facebook had to change the date of the rollout, originally scheduled for February to May 15th and was forced to clarify on an FAQ page that the content of users’ individual chats will continue to be encrypted and will not be harvested by third parties. 

Nevertheless, WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy saga has shined a bad light on Facebook and its intentions to make WhatsApp users into Facebook customers

The different approaches to user privacy can be clearly distinguished between Apple and Facebook. While Apple seems to be heading towards transparency and the protection of user data, going further and regulating app developers in their ecosystem, Facebook is thought of as a company willing to prioritize the needs of its advertisers over the privacy of its users. 

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#apple #facebook

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