Facebook accuses Apple of self-serving new privacy policy

JC Torres - Jan 27, 2021, 9:28pm CST
Facebook accuses Apple of self-serving new privacy policy

There is really no love lost between Apple and Facebook even as the latter has to begrudgingly yield to Apple’s rules if it wants any place on iPhones and iPads. That won’t keep Facebook from airing its grievances any opportunity it can and the latest comes from founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself during the company’s quarterly earnings call. In no unclear words, Zuckerberg paints Apple’s controversial new anti-tracking policy not as something just to protect users but also to protect its own vested interests.

It might boggle the mind that Zuckerberg would paint Apple as one of Facebook’s biggest competitors given that their businesses don’t exactly intersect. That, however, isn’t exactly true anymore in one very specific sense. Facebook’s top exec pretty much pits iMessage and FaceTime as direct and fierce rivals to Facebook’s own Messenger and WhatsApp.

He goes on to say that Apple’s new privacy policies are really meant to drive out the competition as it puts Apple’s first-party apps at an advantage with private APIs and special permissions that third-party apps will never have access to. Apple’s apps are also pre-installed on iPhones and iPads, of course, and Facebook is seemingly losing Android partners willing to risk their customers’ ire in preloading Facebook apps.

Facebook’s rhetoric about Apple’s anti-competitive privacy policy ingeniously plays into the antitrust complaints that have been hurled against it by the US Department of Justice, among others. By playing the victim card, it is trying to show that it isn’t quite the monopoly it is presented to be and is an even smaller player compared to Apple.

Naturally, Zuckerberg also reiterated Facebook’s repeated warnings to advertisers how the upcoming privacy changes in iOS will affect ad revenues, including its own. Apple, however, shows no signs of backing down and will implement those changes in full this year.


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