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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 08, 2021

Expert: Apple's privacy change to cost Facebook billions

One of the new features Apple rolled out in their latest update is the ability of users to control what information of theirs - if any - can be captured, used, or stored. The move is a step forward in data transparency and, for consumers, in their ability to control how their information is used. But for many brands, including social channels, the move is different.

by Kristina Knight

For example, the move is expected to seriously interrupt how social networking giant Facebook collects data, and from that data serve relevant advertising to its users. The move could cost the social giant millions of dollars in lost revenue says one expert.

"Even though Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg are talking past each other, both are absolutely right. Tim Cook says that Facebook's algorithms have been targeting and radicalizing the impressionable with poisonous rhetoric which incites violence. Mark Zuckerberg says that Apple's changes will harm the functioning of it's platform, and that of thousands of small independent developers, and that Apple's monopolistic domination of distribution creates a responsibility to be more fair," said Mike Woosley, COO, Lotame. "Both are right. Who has the high ground? It may disappoint you: the answer is Mark Zuckerberg. Even though Tim's on point that Facebook's platform is echoing misinformation and inciting violence, it's irrelevant for this set of facts. Tim's change around IDFA may cost Facebook $5 billion dollars on it's top line, plus whatever it costs the little guys. That in itself is shocking with respect to scale, impact, and magnitude. It only reinforces the narrative that Apple has arbitrary and monopolistic control over app distribution."

Woosley also believes that the move will set up Apple to be an even bigger monopoly in the tech world because it already takes a 30% share of developers' revenue from its App Store platform.

"Apple doesn't like media and ad-supported business (like Facebook) because it's much harder for Apple to take its "fair share". The change around IDFA is particularly cynical. The consumer already has the control to either block or reset it's IDFA identifier. The only thing missing is the ability to block the ID per app - a capability that already exists on the iphone for app notifications. If Apple had quietly added this functionality, none of us would be talking about this issue. Apple's policy to force feed approval to consumers hundreds of times on a case-by-case basis is a scorched earth policy that harms everybody except Apple," said Woosley. "Apple's marketing and positioning around these changes is so nuanced, so credible, so adroit, that the company even has The Wall Street Journal calling this move by Apple a "privacy change"."

Tags: app data, app privacy, Apple iOS 14, Facebook, Lotame, mobile data, mobile data privacy, mobile marketing, personal data trends, privacy trends

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