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Head of Instagram says user privacy is important but business comes first

Instagram head Adam Mosseri is lashing out at Apple for its upcoming iOS 14 privacy rules citing bad impacts on ad business.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | December 17, 2020 | Updated 11:17 IST
Source: Reuters

Highlights

  • Facebook is criticising Apple for its iOS 14 changes that will arrive next year.
  • New iOS 14 rules will need users to give permission to personalised advertising.
  • Now, Instagram head says privacy is good but should not come at the expense of business.

Apple's plan to tighten privacy on its iPhone ecosystem next year is not going well with Facebook. Apple is bringing crucial privacy changes with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 that will inform users and seek their approval for targeted advertising and data gathering, both of which lie at the core of Facebook's advertising business. To protest against these changes, Facebook has put out full-page ads in newspapers in the US. Now, the boss of Facebook-owned Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is echoing the same explanation, saying that user privacy is important but not more than business.

In a series of tweets, Mosseri has basically rephrased what Facebook's newspaper ad tends to inform iPhone users in the US. However, Mosseri is not disregarding user privacy, which Facebook's ad seems to have. The entire debate over user privacy began because Apple is going to need developers to ask users their permission before their apps can collect their data for personalised advertising and track them across various internet properties. The new iOS 14 privacy rules will not bar targeted advertising but users are more likely to opt-out of trackers if they see data gathering disclosures. Facebook is decrying the move because it potentially hampers its ad network.

"Privacy must be respected in building advertising tools, and we're focused on transparency and control. But privacy doesn't need to come at the expense of the livelihoods of small businesses and developers," said Mosseri in a tweet while citing reasons why the new iOS 14 privacy rule is detrimental to small businesses associated with Facebook. Mosseri has said that personalised ads are important for small businesses to connect with customers in a much easier way, something that previously needed "big budgets".

To put it simply, Facebook runs a vast ad network that involves several big, medium, and small businesses that rely on the user data gathered for personalised advertising. You might be aware of instances where you are looking for a product on the internet and the next thing you see is Facebook or Instagram showing you the same product or similar ones. Apple's new rules will need Facebook and its other apps such as Instagram to seek user permission before they can all of those things.

A large part of Facebook's revenue relies on personalised advertisements. With several monetary partnerships with all kinds of business entities, Facebook shows users ads based on their search preferences. And because you have given consent by default, Facebook keeps collecting your data. Many users do not know about personalised advertising but even those who know barely go deep into settings to turn off personalised advertising. Facebook does not explicitly mention if it is collecting your data for personalised advertising, but Apple's new iOS 14 privacy changes will need the company to disclose everything when any of its apps are downloaded.

The new iOS 14 privacy changes were supposed to be implemented in September earlier this year but Apple delayed enforcing these rules to early 2021. Apple is not budging on its decision to call off the enforcement. And to address Facebook's concerns, Apple did respond to its claims last month. It said Facebook disregarded user privacy. And now Apple is about to take the next step in ensuring its iPhone and iPad users get granular control over their privacy inside the Apple ecosystem.

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