🍎 Apple’s turn toward greater privacy is creating enemies

This is the week that everything changes for the iPhone. A new software released Monday lets users explicitly choose whether they want their actions followed by app owners when they engage with other apps.  

And Facebook couldn’t be less excited.

  • Previous iPhone technology made it harder to stop tracking: Users had to opt-out of sharing data. So various companies, notably Facebook, could pick up on customer habits even when they weren’t using the Facebook app and then package the information for targeted advertising. With the new software, apps will have to ask iPhone users for permission.  

  • This is part of a new-look Apple: The company wants to highlight its privacy offerings and, in many cases, entice customers to pay a premium for the walled-off experience. Its decision could force companies like Facebook to charge for usage if their ad revenues fall too far. 

Apple holds all the cards

It had already bothered Facebook with delays on app updates and in 2018 released a feature that let iPhone users time how long they used certain apps, something that clashed with Facebook’s desire to keep people engaged as long as possible. 

  • “It really spoke to the power of Apple controlling the system,” an ad firm executive told the NYT. “Facebook isn’t in control of its own destiny.” 

The Verdict

Apple’s upper hand is apparent when you consider their CEOs’ comments about each other. Mark Zuckerberg has called Apple one of Facebook’s biggest competitors. Meanwhile, Tim Cook said, “I’m not focused on Facebook.”