Facebook Takes Out Series of Full-Page Ads Attacking Apple’s New iOS 14 Privacy Features

Facebook has launched a scathing attack on Apple in a series of full-page newspaper ads over plans to make it harder to track users and increase privacy in iOS 14.

The ad, which ran in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, claims the changes in iOS 14 dealing with targeted advertising and ad tracking are bad for small businesses whereas in reality they’re bad for Facebook’s ad-driven business model.

The social media giant claims in its advertisement that it’s “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” If the policy change goes ahead, it argues, these sorts of companies will be unable to find and target customers with personalized ads. If they can’t do that, their sales will plummet, “adding to the many challenges they face right now,” the company argues in the ad.

The very public swipe against Apple’s upcoming privacy features is just the latest development in an increasingly acrimonious battle between the two tech juggernauts whose business models are diametrically opposed.

Apple makes its money through selling high-margin hardware and services and prides itself on offering users a rarity for a tech giant: increasing their privacy with every major software release. Facebook, on the other hand, has a business model that relies on collecting as much data about its users as possible in order to monetize that personal data to better target users with ads. In other words, every privacy boost Apple gives users becomes another existential threat to Facebook.

Of course, Facebook is aware that probably few people would feel sorry for the company having less access to their data, which is why it’s positioning its ads as standing up for small businesses. The ad says: “While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses,” with Facebook claiming that ads that aren’t based on personalized data that has been acquired about a user generate 60 percent fewer sales.

In response to Facebook’s accusations that it has been making profits during the pandemic at the expense of small business owners, the Cupertino technology giant promised to stop taking its usual thirty percent cut for certain in-app purchases through the end of 2020. Last month, it extended that waiver through June 2021.