WHAT THE?: “Together, we must send a universal, humanistic response to those who claim a right to users’ private information about what should not and will not be tolerated,” Tim Cook. War has been declared.
Facebook thrives on advertising. Facebook has been aggressively briefing against the shift to more privacy, warning of a major impact on publishers who use its ad network once Apple gives its users the ability to refuse third party tracking.
In the meantime Apple’s CEO pointed out that advertising has flourished in the past without the need for privacy-hostile mass surveillance, arguing: “Technology does not need vast troves of personal data stitched together across dozens of websites and apps in order to succeed. Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it. And we’re here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.”
According to Tech Crunch “in further sideswipes at Facebook, Cook attacked the role of data-gobbling, engagement-obsessed adtech in fuelling disinformation and conspiracy theories — arguing that the consequences of such an approach are simply too high for democratic societies to accept”.
For Facebook it’s about ad dollars. During its most recent quarterly earnings report, Facebook announced that it saw $11 billion in profit over the quarter, driven in part by a 22 percent increase in advertising revenue to more than $28 billion. This occurred during a time when most businesses that depend on advertising that isn’t delivered through Facebook struggled to survive—like news organizations, for example. (Apple also had an enormously profitable quarter, primarily from direct sales of products rather than advertising.)
Facebook has outplayed publishers and other advertising-based businesses to achieved dominance of the ad market by relying on this personal-data tracking and targeting approach and by leveraging users’ dependence on Facebook to connect with friends, family, businesses, communities, and the news.Ars Technica · by Samuel Axon
Apple has divided the privacy label into three categories so we can get a full picture of the kinds of information that an app collects. They are:
- Data used to track you. This information is used to follow your activities across apps and websites. For example, your email address can help identify that you were also the person using another app where you entered the same email address.
- Data linked to you: This information is tied to your identity, such as your purchase history or contact information. Using this data, a music app can see that your account bought a certain song.
- Data not linked to you: This information is not directly tied to you or your account. A mapping app might collect data from motion sensors to provide turn-by-turn directions for everyone, for instance. It doesn’t save that information in your account.
Make no mistake about it apps are tracking everything you do. Even the MyQ app, which opens garage doors, collects a bunch of data.
Why would a product I paid for to open my garage door track my name, email address, device identifier, and usage data? The answer: for advertising.The New York Times
Will Apple’s new privacy requirements really affect consumers? It’s hard to say, but when apps we use to simplify our lives start looking at where we are going and what we are doing, something is wrong.