What you need to know
- Tim Cook tweeted about iOS 14's App Tracking Transparency feature, using Facebook as an example.
- Facebook has been very vocal about its feelings about the feature.
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a message to Facebook last night, using Twitter as the medium. The social network has been outspoken about iOS 14's App Tracking Transparency feature, saying that it will harm small businesses. Cook's tweet explained the situation – using Facebook as an example.
The App Tracking Transparency feature will require apps to ask users for their permission before they track them as they move between apps and services. It's that process that allows Facebook to gather information on users, and it isn't happy – saying it will impact the ability of small businesses to function.
We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first. pic.twitter.com/UnnAONZ61IWe believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first. pic.twitter.com/UnnAONZ61I— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) December 17, 2020December 17, 2020
Previous examples of privacy features offered by Apple have used a placeholder app name. Not this time!
Facebook is, of course, in the wrong here. As Cook points out, nobody is stopping the tracking from taking place – users are just being asked to give their permission for it to happen first.
Facebook, perhaps rightly, knows that nobody is going to give it permission.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.