Apple tackles Facebook on tracking users for advertising purposes

Apple persists and even signs a biting letter with regard to Facebook: the manufacturer of the iPhone intends to put in place at the beginning of 2021 an update which hinders the social network and the publishers of applications in terms of targeted advertising.

The ATT (App Tracking Transparency) feature will force mobile apps to ask users for their permission to track them. It is this tracking that allows networks and applications to track people’s browsing in order to collect data and sell ultra-personalized advertising spaces to advertisers.

“Some companies who would rather ATT never see the light of day have said that this feature will weigh on SMEs by restricting their options, but in reality the current race for personal information is mostly benefiting large companies with huge stocks of data. “Writes Jane Horvath, Apple’s director of privacy.

His letter, dated Thursday, is addressed to several NGOs, including Ranking Digital Rights, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which last month criticized Apple for delaying the establishment of ATT, originally scheduled for implementation. Apple mobile operating system update (iOS 14).

“We have delayed the release of ATT early next year to give developers time to adapt their systems,” recalls Jane Horvath. “But we remain determined to install it.”

At the end of August, Facebook protested against this rule change, which will limit its ability and those of third-party application developers to target iPhone users with advertisements.

The social network had indicated to have measured in simulations “more than 50% of loss of income when the personalization of advertising campaigns on mobile is withdrawn”.

“Too often information is collected about you by the publisher on an app or website, and combined with information collected separately by other companies for the purposes of targeting and advertising measures,” notes Jane Horvath.

“Tracking can be overwhelming, even unpleasant, and often takes place without the user knowing or consenting to it,” she continues.

The director highlights Apple’s practices in this area, which says it does not track its customers and give them the choice of seeing personalized advertisements or not.

“By contrast (…), Facebook executives are clear on their intentions to collect as much data as possible via their products and those of third parties, to constitute and monetize profiles of their users”, she asserts.

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