Apple versus. Facebook – Who will win the data privacy war?
Did you know that the average app has six third-party trackers that collect and share your data online?
The war for data privacy continues to escalate in the tech world. Two of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple and Facebook, take very different approaches to user privacy, and their decisions have ripple effects across the tech community.
Apple’s new transparency requirement
Apple’s new app tracking transparency feature, which will be automatically enabled on iOS in early spring, requires app developers to explicitly ask users for permission to track and share information for cross-platform ad targeting .
With App Tracking Transparency, Apple requires every iOS app to ask you in advance if it is allowed to share your information with data brokers and other networks, so that it can serve you mobile ads and measure your response. to these advertisements.
Once this change is in place, you’ll see a notification the first time you launch a new app on your phone, explaining what the offered third-party tracker is for, and whether you want to approve or reject the tracking and sharing of your data.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly criticized Apple’s new changes, saying they were specifically put in place to put Facebook at a disadvantage. Zuckerberg says Apple is Facebook’s biggest competitor.
But while Apple is adding more privacy features to give its users more control, Facebook is moving in the other direction.
The fine line between WhatsApp and Facebook
At present, WhatsApp has some features that allow users to communicate with businesses through WhatsApp chat, and some of these businesses are hosted by Facebook. Under the new policy, messages between the prospect or customer and the company they are communicating with could be collected and shared with the entire Facebook ecosystem.
This means that Facebook and its advertisers could potentially use customer service chats or transaction receipts for marketing and advertising purposes.
The content of individual user chats will continue to be encrypted, so that they cannot be seen by the company. The data contained in these discussions will not be collected or shared with third parties. Nonetheless, Facebook faced a huge backlash against the new rules after the announcement, prompting them to post an FAQ page to clarify the policy and reassure upset WhatsApp users.
For many WhatsApp users, this announcement was a clear reminder that WhatsApp users are now Facebook customers and that over time Facebook will transfer information between the two platforms more often, in the name of “interoperability. “.
Transparency: Winning hearts and minds in the tech world
Apple and Facebook often take different approaches to user privacy. Increasingly, Apple appears to be taking steps to be more transparent and protect user data, including regulating app developers in their ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Facebook is struggling to gain the trust of many of its users, and the common assumption is that the company prioritizes the needs of its advertisers over the privacy of its users.
Clearly, the market is sensitive to privacy concerns and wants businesses to be more transparent, as evidenced by the backlash of Facebook’s recent WhatsApp announcement.
In the long run, I think companies that are more transparent with their users and take a stand to protect data privacy will be the ones that succeed – but only time will tell.