Smartphones are the devices that know us best. They know everything about us . And we don't realize everything they know about us. Apple takes sides in favor of users, protecting privacy and taking sides against Facebook.
Only after the Cambridge Analytics scandal did we realize how vulnerable we are to data collection and how sensitive we are to protect our privacy . Protecting us online has never been easy, but now Apple is doing more and more to protect its users. The company has a vested interest in doing this: it produces devices and doesn't make money with user data, unlike Facebook which bases much of its proceeds on this.
Apple against Facebook: the protection of privacy
Zuckerberg's own company recently started a war against Apple. The dispute arises from the introduction of the ban on tracing users without permission from the Cupertino company. For a few months, Apple has introduced other measures that go in this direction: in the App Store every data collected that is connected with tracking or functionality must be justified.
For many apps, tracking is done by relying on external services. Google Analytics is the most used product and provides developers and companies with information about their users. The same data, however, remain available to Google which uses them "for its own purposes" and becomes the owner of the data. What happens if we use different apps or sites that use Google Analytics? Google gets a much better idea of us. The apps have a more accurate profile and help the company collect more data . That's why Google offers this service for free, but Apple wants to stop the phenomenon.
Facebook , on its side, tracks its users with its algorithms and collects data from the different apps (Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp) and from the websites that host its banners. Apple wants to make user consent mandatory to undergo tracking and to share data with third parties. Without consent the user must not be tracked and his data must not be shared, going against normal Facebook activities.
EFF: "Is targeted advertising really better?"
Facebook protested and bought newspaper pages, arguing that small businesses would struggle to advertise effectively under the new rules. A protest that Eletronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization that defends digital rights, has defined "ridiculous" and against users . In a note he writes: “We applaud Apple for this change. Facebook has built an empire around tracking everything we do . This new feature is a step forward for Apple that reduces developer abuse by giving users awareness and control over their personal data . "
EFF takes up a study by the “Association of National Advertisers” where it is estimated that for every dollar spent on advertising, advertisers take home between 30 and 40 cents. The rest goes to so-called "data brokers" who collect further data on consumers. We know some of them well: they are Google and Facebook, but as EFF continues to note, many other data brokers remain more “opaque” and unknown.
Targeted advertising is priced like an auction linked to supply and demand: if a category of users is more sought after, you will pay more to show them an ad. The system is more advantageous for those with greater spending power and this limits innovation. Some small advertising companies have reported that Facebook's lack of support and account blocking is detrimental to their businesses .
Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, is also on Apple's side , enticing users to sign a letter communicating their support to Apple.
Article by Dario Puligheddu
Apple article protects privacy by blocking targeted ads: Facebook protest comes from Tech CuE .