Facebook is angry at Apple, and it’s not surprising. The iPhone maker is going to cost the social network upwards of $10 billion due to the iOS 14 privacy features called App Tracking Transparency, Facebook said recently after announcing its financial results.
That’s because Apple’s ATT iPhone privacy features cut back on tracking by revoking access to the identifier for advertisers (IDFA)—a unique code that shows when people are seeing an ad on Facebook, Googling it and buying something via its website, for example.
Apple is onto a winner with its ATT iPhone features, which it has built on further in iOS 15 with the App Privacy Report. People love to hate Facebook, so they’re not exactly crying into their cereal in the mornings as they read about the Mark Zuckerberg-owned firm’s hefty losses.
But one of Facebook’s other complaints is Google, which has a search deal with Apple. While Facebook is increasingly losing on the iPhone through ATT, Google isn’t as heavily impacted.
Google takes a swipe at Apple with Android privacy push
Then there are Google’s Android phones. For a while now, people had been expecting similar privacy features to Apple’s ATT, with explicit permission being sought for access to Android device IDs. And yes, Google is bringing some privacy changes in, but it won’t happen for at least two years, the firm said in a blog. This, it hopes, will not have the same impact on the ad industry as Apple’s stringent iPhone privacy changes.
Unlike Apple, Google needs to please advertisers. And as Ars Technica points out, the newly-announced Android changes are in addition to existing ad systems; they’re not a replacement—at least yet.
But Google knows people care about privacy. In its blog, Google says it is aiming for “new, more private advertising solutions” that will “limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID.”
“We’re also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs,” the blog reads.
Google also took at obvious swipe at Apple saying: “We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that — without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path — such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.”
Google linked a blog by Lockdown Privacy, an antitracking app that showed ATT was not always effective at preventing tracking on iPhones.
Google can’t please everyone
Google is aiming to please everyone—advertisers and Android users—by introducing changes, but not immediately.
It’s looking a lot like Google’s aims to move away from third party cookies—it knows it needs to, but it’s also got to fuel its business model. Look at FLoC: it didn’t work, which is why Google is pursuing its new cookie replacement Topics.
The Android privacy changes, which will see the operating system get its own version of Google’s Privacy Sandbox, build on the same idea—building privacy and enabling targeted advertising.
But Apple isn’t like Google—or Facebook—because its business model isn’t funded by advertising. Apple can afford to make privacy changes, and iPhone users welcome them. It’s become Apple’s unique selling point.
Google’s move to try and please everyone isn’t a shock to anyone. As Forbes’ Davey Winder says in this week’s Straight Talking Cyber: “Is it any surprise Google is doing this, as it’s their entire revenue model?”
“We’ve seen this with cookies in Chrome and browser ad tracking,” Forbes’ Zak Doffman adds. “Google has its feet firmly in both camps. It’s a digital advertising guru as well as controlling Android and Chrome. So whenever it makes a change, it’s immediately under attack because it’s conflicted.”
Google and Apple changes—A lose-lose for Facebook
The Apple privacy changes hammer Facebook, and the Google ones could too, potentially. As Doffman points out, the real problem is Facebook’s business model, which simply doesn’t fit in today’s privacy-conscious world. “The problem isn’t Apple or Google, it’s Facebook’s business model. It tracks people and sells them targeted advertising. People are sick and tired of it and Facebook has nothing to fall back on apart from its Metaverse, and is that going to work?”
Finding a happy medium between tracking and user privacy is one of the hardest lines to tread in modern day technology business models, says Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor at ESET. “Micro-targeted advertising has had its day and developers had best look forward rather than reminiscing over ‘the good old days’. Google understands people demand privacy and it can’t stand still and avoid the requirement.”
However, with two years until the Android changes are brought in, it’s plausible that they might never happen in their current form, says Moore. “Google’s business model is to get more eyes on ads as an advertising business. As long as that remains the case, there is little to suggest they will do anything to threaten this and their profits.”
There’s no doubt about it—the battle ground is set and this year and beyond, it’s increasingly abut privacy. People want more protection from tracking by the likes of Facebook and Google. Sure it’s not perfect, but currently, the best way of getting that is by using an iPhone.
Source:Apple Issues Stunning New Blow To Facebook As Google Joins…
Discovered on: 2022-02-19 11:30:00