The debate over online advertising between Facebook and Apple is heating up, with Apple CEO Tim Cook launching a scathing attack on the social media platform.
Tensions between the two companies have been simmering away for months now after Apple announced last year it would deprecate the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) from its devices as part of the iOS14 update.
Under the changes, developers will be made to add a prompt into their apps asking users to opt-in for targeted ads.
And while Apple has positioned it as a win for user privacy, Facebook has strongly opposed the changes, claiming it will limit the ability to offer targeted ads.
The social media platform has also suggested this will hurt small businesses that rely on using targeted ads to attract customers.
Facebook’s head of ads Dan Levy has gone as far as to say the changes will “take the world back 10 or 20 years”.
In a speech to the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook took aim at Facebook’s entire business model, reinforcing Apple’s privacy-first stance.
“Some may well think that sharing this degree of information is worth it for more targeted ads,” Cook said.
“Many others, I suspect, will not, just as most appreciated it when we built a similar functionality into Safari limiting web trackers several years ago.
“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are not choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform. Too many are still asking the question ‘how much can we get away with?’, when they need to be asking ‘what are the consequences?’.
“What are the consequences of prioritising conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of their high rates of engagement? What are the consequences of not just tolerating but rewarding content that undermines public trust in lifesaving vaccinations? What are the consequences of seeing thousands of users join extremist groups, and then perpetuating an algorithm that recommends even more?”
legal action looms
The Information is reporting that the battle between Facebook and Apple is heading for the courts, with Facebook currently preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
According to the report, Facebook will allege Apple has abused its power by forcing app developers to abide by specific rules.
Facebook is also claiming Apple is giving itself an “unfair advantage” in terms of online advertising, in displaying ads on its App Store.
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