Despite reports, Meta and Apple are not discussing an AI partnership for one obvious reason

(Image credit: Apple)

Although rumors recently surfaced that plans were afoot to include Meta AI in Apple Intelligence, a new report suggests this isn’t the case.

It was previously reported that talks were ongoing for a potential partnership. Now, according to Bloomberg, sources ‘confirmed’ that Apple and Meta in March had a brief conversation about integrating Meta AI into Apple Intelligence. However, the report explains “Apple decided not to move forward with formal Meta discussions in part because it doesn’t see that company’s privacy practices as stringent enough, according to the people.”

These reports about a breakdown in a potential partnership may also stem from Apple’s previous efforts with privacy that have hindered Meta in the past. For example, back in April 2021 with the release of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This allows you to choose if an app can track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for advertising or sharing reasons with data brokers. A few companies, including Meta, tanked on the stock market because of many users enabling this feature. For Meta, there was a reported $10 Billion loss in revenue that year because of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature being used in its apps such as Facebook and Instagram.

Bloomberg goes on to state that Apple is still in discussions with Google about partnering up the Gemini AI assistant with Apple Intelligence, similar to the partnership Apple announced with OpenAI’s ChatGPT back at WWDC 2024.

Apple Intelligence is coming later this year as part of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. These AI features will be available on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, as well as iPads and Macs with Apple silicon for U.S. English users.

Meta AI is about to scrape through your Facebook and Instagram accounts

Facebook in iOS 6: Guide and Tutorial - YouTube Facebook in iOS 6: Guide and Tutorial - YouTube
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With partnership talks breaking down between Apple and Meta, it’s hard to imagine that there was a once time when Facebook was integrated into iOS 6. You could sign in to Meta’s social network within Apple’s Settings app and share your photos or web links directly to Facebook from within iOS, without using Facebook's dedicated third-party app.

Nowadays, an integration like this is less likely than The Beatles reforming. Facebook changed its company name to Meta in October 2021 based on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s then-plans to focus on social connection through virtual reality. The metaverse was meant to revolve around virtual worlds that users could visit by controlling an avatar. However, the idea has reportedly flopped, with Zuckerberg now pivoting to artificial intelligence — yet some privacy concerns have already come to the forefront with Meta AI.

Meta recently announced that, starting June 26, it will use your social accounts on Facebook and Instagram to train its Meta AI model — but you can opt out if you want to. To do this, go to Settings > About, then Privacy Policy on Facebook or Instagram. Click on the form called ‘Right to Object’, where you can confirm you're opting out.

Factors like this perceived privacy overreach must have caused concern for Apple, as any user who isn’t aware of this change by June 26 will automatically have their accounts scanned by Meta AI. It’s a bad user experience and, on the face of it, feels very shady. At the very least, Meta should have provided users with context as to why Meta AI needs to access their accounts, followed by a clear choice on whether they want their accounts to be used by the AI model.

Regardless, Apple’s refusal to partner with Meta underscores just how seriously it treats privacy. With this in mind, don’t expect Meta AI to be part of Apple Intelligence any time soon.

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

The iPhone 15 Pro might not be cheap, but it's the best that Apple has to offer. The device is perfect for Apple Intelligence, which arrives with iOS 18 later this year for U.S. users.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.