The latest updates released by Apple enable privacy changes to iOS. The iOS 14.5 update for iPhone or your iPadOS will now ask for permission when you launch apps. This will restrict apps such as Facebook from tracking your online activities.
This might prove to be a huge problem for the Social media giant as it might squeeze its US digital advertising business, estimated to around $40 billion according to eMarketer. Facebook believes consumers should appreciate tracking as it helps them deliver better and targeted advertisements. Though Apple CEO Tim Cook finds data collection excessive and can be exploited.
The iOS 14.5 has arrived on time just as announced at this year’s Spring Loaded event. The latest update offers an “App Tracking Transparency” feature that requires apps tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites to notify you. You can choose to allow tracking to continue or opt-out.
What does this mean to Facebook?
The new feature will ask users if they want to opt-in or out from being tracked. This means those who opt will not be troubled to watch ads presented by Facebook on the basis of their personal liking etc. While those who choose to opt-in will continue to receive ads from Facebook based on their personal preferences. It is estimated Facebook can see a decline of $3 billion annually as a result of a decline in US advertising revenue.
Facebook in a post earlier in February said “Personalized ads are an important way people discover small businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and how these ads help small businesses grow from an idea into a livelihood.” about how it plans to allow tracking to continue.
How to change the Privacy Settings?
You can always change the Privacy Setting irrespective of what you initially chose. To change your earlier decision you can go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking.
The latest update will certainly give the users more control over how they want to share the data. According to Apple some apps with embedded trackers extract more data than required, share it with third parties like advertisers and data brokers, this information is sold and consumers become the product.
The feature was planned for a release earlier in September 2020 but wanted to give the free apps time to adjust to the changes. While on one hand, Facebook accepted the fact the new policy will affect its investors as it will hurt their ad revenue and also argued it could make it difficult for small apps to survive.