Facebook, Instagram use notices on iOS apps to enable user data tracking
Following the transparency and restriction on data tracking introduced in iOS 14.5, Facebook has made a concerted effort to promote data tracking. According to The Verge and Ashkan Soltani, a technology researcher, Instagram and Facebook are showing iOS notices that pitch for data tracking. So, let’s learn more about the new data tracking tactic used in the iOS app of Facebook and Instagram.
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Facebook, Instagram data tracking on iOS apps
The notice shows a pop-up asking for permission to track user data in order to improve the company’s personalized ads experience. Facebook uses the data collected to serve personalized advertisements to its users. Not only this, Facebook has said that it would help small businesses and help keep the app “free of charge”. They are referring to notices as “educational screens”.
Replying to this, a spokesperson from Facebook directs to a blog post that was updated in late April.
Why Facebook and Instagram are seeking permission?
With iOS 14 and 14.5, Apple also introduced a layer of security to protect users’ privacy. App creators need to have approval from smartphone owners for their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) to be shared and stored throughout applications. According to Apple’s latest policy, if the user decides to opt-out from the app track, the developer can still use his/her data but cannot share it with other firms for ad-tracking.
Moreover, Ashkan Soltani first reported about new changes via a tweet. He said that Facebook and Instagram are exploring additional scare tactics to combat iOS 14 privacy changes.
“Help keep Facebook free of charge” pic.twitter.com/mOB9WJpz9A
— ashkan soltani (@ashk4n) April 30, 2021
It’s not shocking that Facebook is working hard to improve app tracking. Personalized advertising accounts for a significant portion of the company’s revenue; and Apple’s decision to boost privacy on iOS 14.5 will harm the internet giant’s bottom line.
Other than this, the notice clearly demonstrates what app tracking either on iOS or Android entails for Facebook and Instagram. And if they are successful at convincing a small number of users to enable data tracking, the move could be worthwhile.
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