Facebook will try to convince iPhone users to let themselves be tracked

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Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
Facebook will try to talk users into hitting the “allow” button when asked if they can be tracked. Apple will add this pop-up to help users protect their privacy.
Graphic: Apple

Facebook is going to take a shot at persuading users to skip the “do not track” button that Apple will soon require iPhone application to display. The pop-up is designed to protect user privacy, but the Facebook app will offer its own pop-up screen explaining the benefits of targeted advertising before users are given the option to opt out of being tracked.

The social-network’s own pop-up “will provide more information about how we use personalized ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free,” explained Facebook. A statement from the company says that by preventing your online activity from being tracked, “you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you.”

Privacy: Apple versus Facebook

Apple and Facebook are on diametrically opposing sides of an ongoing debate about online privacy. The social-networking service along with Google and others provide software that people pay for by giving up their personal information to be sold to advertisers.

It’s their entire business model, so Apple users opting out of tracking is expected to significantly impact their profits. Facebook faces as much as a 7% drop in revenue.

Apple, on the other hand, views privacy as a “fundamental human right.” It favors applications and services that are paid for with money and that preserve the privacy of users, pointing out that non-targeted ads were the norm for decades.

Of course, it’s not being totally unselfish. Apple profits from app sales, and doesn’t make money from free applications that support themselves with ads.

Its App Tracking Transparency feature will appear in an update to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 that’s schedule to be released this spring. Anyone one who installs it on their iPhone will start seeing a message that asks, “Allow [this app] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” It’s appear in Facebook, Instagram and many other applications.