Facebook vs. Apple: duel at the top of Tech on transparency in data collection

by bold-lichterman

Facebook donned boxing gloves on Wednesday to respond to Apple’s new measures on transparency in data collection by downloadable apps on the iPhone maker’s online store, accusing the apple brand of harming small businesses . Full pages of advertising in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington post, putting online a website collecting testimonials from small traders and a vitriolic platform: the social media giant has not skimped on the means.

In the sights of the group led by Mark Zuckerberg, an update to Apple’s iOS mobile operating system requiring application developers to provide extensive details about the collection and use of users’ personal information in the App Store, the virtual store of the Cupertino (California) giant. “Apple’s new iOS 14 rules are going to have a detrimental impact on many small businesses struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet, on which we all rely more than ever.”, wrote Dan Levy, Facebook vice president of advertising and business products in a blog post.

To defend these changes, which have been mentioned since June and are part of a vast company policy on data management, Apple highlights a concern for transparency. The ATT (App Tracking Transparency) feature, which is to be deployed on a large scale in early 2021, will indeed force mobile applications to ask users for their permission to track them, thus responding to insistent requests from several NGOs and consumer groups.

Limited advertising revenue

But Facebook, which has been voicing its opposition to ATT since the summer, swears Apple is far more interested in financial gain than privacy by seeking to drastically limit the ability for developers to serve ads. targeted. This content is also an important source of income for Facebook itself. ” This will force companies to turn to in-app purchase and subscription models, which means Apple will benefit and many free services will have to either become paid or leave the market ”, defends Mr. Levy.

The official goes so far as to accuse Apple of an anti-competitive practice ” by using their control of the App Store to inflate their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses. “ Mr. Levy further accuses Apple of not complying with its own rules by not subjecting its personalized advertising platform to the new measures. During a phone call on Wednesday, Facebook called small American merchants to testify to what extent changing the criteria for targeted ads could affect their business.

Another subject of conflict between the two pillars of Tech relates to the commission that the iPhone manufacturer takes on consumer transactions made through the App Store, which can amount to up to 30%. The amount of this “tax” is notably contested by Epic Games, the publisher of the popular Fortnite video game, the downloading of which is banned from Apple devices until the summer of 2021. In his column, Mr. Levy indicates that Facebook, who took up the case for Epic Games, will provide elements to justice showing that this ban hits the advertising revenues of the social network.

eccentric statements “ for apple

Apple has not officially responded to Facebook’s latest offensive. But at a summit in Brussels last week, Apple’s vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, anticipated negative reactions to the new transparency measures. He then qualified these attacks as “Eccentric statements” and of “Shameless attempts to maintain the status quo on invasion of privacy.” “ “It is obvious that some companies will do all they can to stop the App Tracking Transparency feature – or any similar innovation – and to maintain their unimpeded access to user data.”, warned Mr. Federighi.

Several specialists also considered it ironic that a behemoth like Facebook arises as a defender of SMEs. Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies was thus doubtful in front of the advertising insert of the social network which assures to want to “defend small businesses”. “Except that’s not the case! », Tweeted the expert. “#Facebook stands up to Apple to retain the ability to collect data and generate income. “