Facebook calls Apple’s bluff with new ad privacy warning

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 1, 2021, 2:59pm CST
Facebook calls Apple’s bluff with new ad privacy warning

Facebook hasn’t been shy about criticizing Apple’s App Tracking Transparency plan, which will require developers to get a user’s permission to track their habits for ad-targeting purposes. Despite criticism, Apple is proceeding with the new control, and so Facebook is back with a change of its own — a prompt that lays out reasons it believes users should allow the platform to continue tracking their data.

In mid-December, Facebook published a statement on Apple’s iOS 14 ad-tracking policy, presenting it as harmful to small businesses by reducing their ability to effectively target advertisements at potential customers. The company said at the time that while it doesn’t agree with the change, ‘we have no choice but to show their prompt.’

In an update published today, February 1, Facebook said that while it will follow Apple’s rules regarding the prompt, it will also present its users with its own prompt — one that it provides details on its use of personalized ads. Users still ultimately choose whether they want to opt-in on Facebook and Instagram data tracking.

Assuming you reject the request, Facebook notes that “you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you.” If you accept the request, Facebook says “the ads you see on [its] apps won’t change.” The company describes its own prompt as educational and goes so far as to say, “Apple has said that providing education is allowed.”

Facebook’s update comes alongside Apple’s iOS 14.5 beta release, which adds the App Tracking Transparency prompt. The update won’t be available to all iPhone users until later this year. You can find the full list of changes in iOS 14.5 here.


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