Facebook gives way to Apple. Allows iPhone users to refuse online tracking

With the iOS 14.3 update, Apple is forcing all companies that publish apps to the App Store to disclose exactly what data they collect about users and allow them to refuse to track activity within and outside the app on Apple devices. Of course, Facebook initially protested, as this initiative directly affects Facebook’s business on iOS, but eventually the social media giant gave in and updated the iPhone app to align with the new requirements.

Apple has forced all app developers to allow users to opt out of online activity

Despite the fact that Facebook bought ads in newspapers threatening businesses that use the social network for commercial purposes that this decision will affect their income, the company has little choice. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, gave a rather short and clear answer on his Twitter account, in which he said that he always wants to give users the opportunity to choose what happens to their data.

Before delivering the update to Apple’s servers, Facebook sent an email to those who have “business” pages on its platforms, explaining why it needs to give users the opportunity to refuse online tracking. The alternative, ie the refusal, would mean that Apple could block the company’s applications from the App Store. In fact, there is already a fairly important precedent, which took place last year.

Epic Games, the creator of the game Fortnite, one of the most popular games in the world, violated the rules on the App Store and chose not only to delist the game, but also with the suspended developer account. Epic Games and Apple are now in a process that could take several years, and Facebook probably wants to avoid such a situation. In fact, Facebook has shown public support for Epic Games in the fight against Apple. That’s because Facebook also wants to get rid of 30% commissions to the App Store for users who buy products or services through the social network.

Facebook also says that these changes are really pro-users, but in the end, Apple has the most benefit. Because apps will no longer be able to rely as much on ads, more apps will start offering paid digital content or subscriptions to access them, and some of that money will go to Apple.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.