What’s Behind the Apple-Facebook Feud?

Apple’s message seems simpler.

That’s true. According to Apple, users only have the choice of whether or not to be tracked across apps. Facebook’s argument to the public is more complex – that they need to be tracked in order for the internet to work and that people don’t know what’s good for them.

Wait, let’s get back to the hypocrisy part.

Facebook is concerned that its own profits will be hurt by Apple’s new feature. However, it has mainly focused on making the smaller companies that advertise on Facebook the face of their opposition to Apple’s app tracking feature. Yes, smaller businesses could be hurt, but it’s fair to ask if my local pizza place needs to know what I’m doing with a fitness app in order to advertise myself effectively.

And Apple isn’t going to admit that what it does is great for the company, not just for iPhone owners. It’s good marketing to say that iPhones are the place for privacy. Apple also says that targeted digital advertising is dangerous, but receives billions of dollars every year from Google, the largest targeted advertising company.

Is it possible this iPhone app tracking feature isn’t a big deal?

To be honest, yes. It’s not easy to predict the impact of this iPhone change, or whether companies with different methods of gathering information will tackle it. Chances are a lot of people will say no to app tracking when iPhones are given a choice, but the advertising industry is chugging on.

Tip of the week

Brian X. Chen, the consumer technology columnist for the New York Times, is here to walk us through new features for Siri that are also part of the updated iPhone software:

In my latest column, I covered some of the most notable new features in Apple’s iOS 14.5, the software update for iPhones and iPads that Apple plans to release on Monday. (Look for the update in the Settings app and in the Software Update menu.)

But there are many other new extras in the updated software that focus on Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.

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