Facebook-backed report calls Apple privacy features anticompetitive

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App Tracking Transparency is iOS 14.5's controversial new privacy-related feature.
Is Apple weaponizing privacy to increase its advantage?
Screenshot: Apple

Facebook isn’t backing down in its battle against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. And it’s seemingly got a couple of heavy hitter researchers in its corner.

In a Facebook-funded paper published Wednesday, Feng Zhu, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and D. Daniel Sokol, a professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, take issue with Apple’s new privacy features — referring to them as “an anticompetitive strategy disguised as a privacy-protecting measure.”

Steve Jobs once called Facebook ‘Fecebooks’

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Steve Jobs once called Facebook ‘Fecebooks’
Typo? Or cutting insult? Apple’s former CEO once used the term “Fecebooks.”
Photo: Cult of Mac

Disagreements between Apple and Facebook have made headlines recently, but bad blood between the two companies dates back decades. In 2011, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs even called the social-networking service “Fecebooks.”

Ad companies argue App Tracking Transparency will drive up cost of apps

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App Store image
Could privacy feature be ultimately bad for users?
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

A group of media, tech, and ad companies in Germany have made an official antitrust complaint about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature.

The group, which represents Facebook among other companies, is concerned about the effect the new privacy feature will have on the ad business. It also claims that the feature could wind up hurting users by making apps more expensive.

Tim Cook’s privacy prescription for Facebook: Delete tons of user data

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By running anti-Apple ads in major newspapers, Facebook's taking its battle with Apple to the next level.
Cook is no big fan of Facebook.
Photo: Thought Catalog/Unsplash CC

Tim Cook reportedly shocked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when, during a July 2019 meeting, he told the social media magnate that he should delete all user data Facebook had gathered outside of its core apps.

According to The New York Times, the meeting between the two had been called to try and restore peace between the Silicon Valley tech giants. Zuck had asked cook how he should respond to the then-current Cambridge Analytica scandal, during which many users had had data gathered about them without express permission.

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New rules come into effect in May.
Photo: WhatsApp/Cult of Mac

Facebook plans smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch

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A Facebook watch will likely give new meaning to the word “watch.”
A rumored Facebook watch will offer many of the features already in the very successful Apple Watch.
Illustration: Wikipedia CC/Cult of Mac

Facebook is reportedly building a smartwatch that’ll offer instant messaging on the go. And help users stay fit.

Of course, the Facebook watch will have to go head-to-head with Apple Watch, the 500-pound gorilla of the wearables market.

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Google is Apple's biggest developer.
Photo: Apple/Google

Snapchat admits iOS 14 privacy feature could disrupt its business

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Snapchat logo
Snapchat thinks its business could be disrupted by changes.
Photo: Alexander Shatov/Unsplash CC

Snapchat parent company Snap has added its voice to the tech companies complaining that iOS 14’s privacy measures could hurt its business.

Releasing its Q4 2020 earnings Thursday, the company’s CFO Derek Andersen said that the Apple changes might disrupt Snap’s ad-centric business model.

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.