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Facebook vs Apple: the consumer data war is declared

The social network Facebook is launching a press campaign against the new Apple IOS 14 operating system. Mark Zuckerberg criticizes this new version for preventing him from selling targeted advertisements. Apple claims to want to protect user privacy.

The fact that one large company openly attacks another is not common. But Facebook didn't do things by halves. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg appeared in full-page advertisements in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to proclaim “We oppose Apple, in the name of defending small businesses”.

Facebook shared a site with testimonials from SMEs complaining about the policies of Tim Cook, Apple CEO.

What Facebook is accused of is restricting the ability to make targeted advertisements in IOS 14, the new version of Apple's operating system.

Apple asks its users to give their consent to be “tracked” for each of the mobile applications that it downloads from the AppStore application store. The users' IDFA, the number used by advertisers to find out the uses of an Apple iPhone smartphone processor, will therefore no longer be transmitted. This prevents companies that wish to advertise online to iPhone mobile users from knowing more about user behavior and therefore better targeting them.

But Facebook swears that Apple is far more interested in financial profits than privacy by seeking to significantly limit developers' ability to serve targeted ads. This content is also an important source of income for Facebook itself. This will force companies to move towards subscription and in-app purchase models, which means that Apple will benefit and that many free services will have to become paid or leave the market " , defends Mr. Levy, head of advertising at Facebook. Apple is accused of “forcing companies” to adopt a paid model, on which it levies a “tax” of 15% to 30% when a mobile user makes a purchase from an application in the AppStore. The manufacturer would also “promote” its own advertising activity, on its AppStore application store.

In France, the advertising industry is contacting the Competition Authority over restrictions on tracking on Apple's IOS 14.

The IAB, MMA, SRI and Udecam associations blacklist the changes announced by Apple for iOS 14 in 2021, which according to them would hinder competitive rules in terms of advertising targeting.

To be continued over the coming weeks.


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