Facebook exec says company is 'under assault' by Apple's privacy changes

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What you need to know

  • Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer is not happy with Apple's privacy changes.
  • The executive argues that Apple cannot expect everyone to run a business model similar to it.
  • Apple is expected to roll out privacy features that limit ad tracking in 2021.

Reported by CNBC, Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer said on Tuesday that it and other companies who rely on personalized advertising are "under assault" by Apple's new privacy protections that are coming to iOS 14.

Speaking at a virtual Advertising Week session, Fischer argued that the advertising model is good as it makes a lot of the content found on the internet free for users and that if Apple's privacy protections get put in place, that businesses and developers will bear the brunt of the impact.

"The economic model that not just we at Facebook but so many businesses rely on, this model is worth preserving, one that makes content freely available, and the business that makes it run and hum, is via advertising ... And right now, frankly, some of that is under assault, that the very tools that entrepreneurs, that businesses are relying on right now are being threatened. To me, the changes that Apple has proposed, pretty sweeping changes, are going to hurt developers and businesses the most."

The executive went on to argue that, while Apple can enjoy building a business selling "luxury hardware or subscription services," it is inappropriate to then turn around and demand that the businesses operating on its devices to follow the same business model.

"There are different business models out there. Apple has one that sells luxury hardware or subscription services, mainly to consumers like us who are fortunate enough to have a lot of discretionary income in some of the world's wealthiest countries ... That's fine, but I don't think it's appropriate to then dictate that has to be other business models ... And the one that we believe is so valuable, one that relies on advertising, in our case, personalized ads, to enable free products, enable businesses to launch and grow and thrive, we're going to defend that. And we think it really important that not just we but our industry does that."

What Facebook is alluding to is Apple's new privacy features that, among other things, will allow users to block advertiser tracking between apps. The company originally planned to launch the feature along with iOS 14, but has since rolled back the feature to 2021, saying that it wants to give advertisers and developers time to adjust for the changes.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.