Facebook Goes Offline To Tell Apple Off

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Who said print ads were a thing of the past?

Yesterday Facebook took out full-page newspaper ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post to lambast Apple’s upcoming iOS privacy changes, which Zuck & Co. says will crush small businesses.

The headline? “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” How selfless.

Looking Out For The Little Guy

The public feud between Facebook and Apple has hit a crescendo in recent months. This week the social media stalwart accused Apple of using its power to “harm developers and consumers,” expressing hope that Europe’s new Digital Markets Act “will also set boundaries for Apple.”

What’s At Stake: First announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, the privacy changes will make it significantly easier for iPhone users to opt-out of having their data tracked. Previously, those settings were buried deep in the iPhone settings menu.

  • Analysts believe many people will choose to opt-in of being tracked, and companies such as Facebook will no longer be able to serve highly-targeted ads on an iPhone.

And Facebook is playing up the plight of its partners, claiming the privacy change will be “devastating to small businesses” using its ad network. Facebook’s full-pager in Wednesday’s papers states “the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend.”

Apple Bites Back

Apple hasn’t backed down to the social media giant. Senior director of global privacy Jane Horvath said Facebook’s intent is clearly “to collect as much data as possible” on its users.

Apple says its updated privacy policies will be the law of the iOS land early next year, doubling down on its commitment “to ensuring users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them.”

Counterpunch: Apple knows how to play to an audience, too. The company launched App Store privacy labels earlier this week. The Facebook app’s privacy label is a pages-long exposé, highlighting all the data Facebook harvests and the litany of ways the company monetizes it.