Facebook v Apple: What is it all about?

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Apple have recently introduced a new feature to their iPhones and iPads, causing a great disturbance between themselves and Facebook.

The new Apple feature allows users to switch off the access to their private data being collected by apps.

Facebook are up in arms as they are extremely reliant on the user data for the advertising it generates, this is what makes the company its profits.

 At the centre of this row is a unique device identifier which is on all iPhones and iPads, called a IDFA (identifier for advertisers) Businesses that sell mobile ads use this IDFA to target users and get results of its effectiveness. But when the new iOS 14.5 is launched soon (this week) the new App tracking transparency will be automatically on, this means that App developers will have to get permission to use the IDFA from the user. Research predicts that at least 80% of users will say no to allowing permission.

Battling against Data sharing and privacy has become the focus with the tech giants. Apple makes its money from selling its products, so has very little concern about collecting customers data or data sharing. It also strongly believes in privacy and markets itself as such-a privacy first company.

 A decade or so ago, Steve Jobs said that customer should have the right to know where their private usage data is going. "Privacy means people know what they're signing up for, in plain English and repeatedly... ask them, ask them every time," he said.

 This new feature will of course hit Facebook extremely hard. It has warned that this could cut their money earned from the Ad networks by half, it will have a devastating result on small businesses. Facebook also states that users’ experiences will decline.

Facebook, naturally, have gone on the attack and have called Apple hypocritical, as the new feature will force companies to turn to in-App payments and subscriptions for revenue, from which Apple will get a share.

 Should I care about my data privacy?

Here are some points to consider:

 The average app includes six third-party trackers that are there solely to collect and share your online data.

  • some apps request access to more data than is required to provide their service. TikTok, for instance, is being sued by the Children's commission UK for collecting large amounts of children's data.
  • the UK's Information Commissioner's Office is investigating real-time bidding - the daily automatic placement of billions of targeted online adverts on webpages and apps.
  • any one data broker is estimated to have data on up to 700 million consumers.

The Apple v Facebook battle is on-going but prepare for a lot more focus on our data sharing privacy, the forecast is that things are going to get a lot stricter on all OS devices and systems in the future, not just Apple devices, which is no bad thing for us users.

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