Apple Ups The Ante On Privacy

In addition to the web based anti tracking IDFA, Apple has initiated a new App Tracking Transparency requirement that will block and remove apps that track from the App Store that do not include a clear explanation about how the tracking will work across different apps, including details about data capture and sharing of information with third parties. It must also give the user the option to decline tracking.

Fortnight, Facebook, etc., etc., etc., are really going to love this:

They are also making it very clear to the public (and, by extension, to Facebook et al) that they are serious about this and companies should not think they’re going to get away with ignoring the rule.

Anything that hurts Facebook’s business model is fine by me. If they went out of business tomorrow, the world would be a better place with a whole lot less disinformation being passed around.


Facebook is going ballistic about the nutrition labels:

I wish the US vs. Facebook anti trust case had included some focus on harm to consumers, like spreading false information, privacy and tracking.

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Me too, but I don’t think they can. As objectionable as these practices are, they are not illegal. Ultimately, Facebook can do what it wants on the servers it runs and everybody else’s recourse is only the right to not use software running on those servers.

Unfortunately, for many of us, that is easier said than done.

But I believe the alternative (a government agency micro-managing what operators of web services can and can not run on their own servers over their own networks) is even worse.

What we need is some alternative social media services that can compete. There are some, but they’re still small and will need time to become popular. If Facebook tries to strong-arm these services out of business, then that is what antitrust law is designed to protect against.

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I have a simple view:

  1. Don’t get news from Facebook - except for family
  2. Only F/B only for tracking family and friends
  3. And, as my mother told me, don’t put it in writing - if you don’t want the world to know, don’t put it out there


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Facebook is ganging up with Epic Games, etc.

Here’s what’s really bothering them; since June Facebook had been projecting a 50% loss in annual ad revenue. Now that contracts for next year are rolling in, they are claiming a 60% reduction:

“Ads that disregard personalized targeting generate 60% fewer sales than ads that target consumers, Facebook added, citing its own data. Apple’s new feature at the heart of the issue – App Tracking Transparency – won’t forbid companies like Facebook from collecting targeting data, but will ask them to disclose it and seek user opt-in.”

If you’re interested in seeing something scary, take a look at what Facebook admits about its tracking procedures on its privacy statement. It is a lengthy read:

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Fascinating how this is playing out (including Facebook’s full page ad in certain national newspapers)

(p.s., @MMTalker your Bloomberg links don’t seem to embed - here on TidBITS they say “Are you a robot”, if I visit them, I get " We’ve detected unusual activity from your computer network.
To continue, please click the box below to let us know you’re not a robot. … blah blah blah … please allow cookies and JavaScript"

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Thanks for this. I didn’t get the anti robot message when I pasted the link from Google that took me to the Bloomberg article, but I got it when I clicked from my post. I’ll change the link to one from another source.

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More new and interesting developments in the never ending saga:

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Though Facebook just announced significant growth this quarter, they are mega ballistic about how Apple’s privacy initiatives will begin kneecapping their future results:

Facebook must really be worried that the IDFA is going to damage their revenue

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Tim Cook posted a brilliant two sentence response in response to Zuckerberg’s whiney and expensive ad and PR campaign:

I did some snooping around, and The Verge/Vox Media did a very interesting survey about trust Americans have in tech industry heavyweights. Facebook did poorly; Apple did well. Here are a few highlights, and keep in mind that Apple has a very much smaller US universe of users than Facebook:

69% trust Apple with their information. Facebook is at rock bottom with 41%.
81% have a favorable opinion of Apple; Facebook 72%
62% think Apple has a positive impact on society; Facebook 40%

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I really wonder how those attitudes have evolved today. I’ll bet Facebook has continued to drop and Apple to gain.

Here’s Google’s larger response…


There’s an interesting and varied collection of perspectives on Google’s FLOCs strategy from some ad industry leaders:

And the Electronic Frontier Foundation is more than skeptical:

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And here’s an example of how easy location tracking and data mining currently is, how little control individuals have of their data and who might have access to it:

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If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em:

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Just released results from Verizon’s Flurry Analytics about Apple’s App Transparency feature is proving that privacy is important to iOS device owners in the US. It’s early data limited to just one provider, and doesn’t spill the beans on results from particular apps. But my guess is that 96% opt out of tracking is a good number,

Flurry will be updating the opt-in statistics every day at 2 PM EST:

I want to know who the 4% are who agreed to be tracked? Ad industry employees? People who didn’t read and just tapped to agree?

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