For the time being there may be a pause in the aggression from some of the tech giants towards conservative targets, as there are bigger issues at play. Right now there is an ongoing battle — a siege really, if not an outright war — between Apple and Facebook. This has been in regards to users’ privacy, and as Apple has sought to give their customers more control over well, themselves, Facebook is not the least bit happy over this tech development. Now the data is coming in regarding this shift and it could be even worse than the social media leviathan anticipated.
The conflict is over the release of the latest operating system from the hardware company, as its iOS 14.5 download carries the new functionality where the users of the iPhone and iPad can choose to prevent personal data tracking across the apps on their device. In other words, Facebook, and other applications, can now be prevented from many of the data mining functions used to collect personal information from us over the years. Now, weeks after the release it is seen how many people prefer this feature.
While many tech outlets have been known to gather details from us in exchange for use of their platform Facebook has grown into probably the most pernicious of the lot. They continue to track our movements even if we deactivate our accounts, even doing so after canceling outright, and even having the means to collect details from third-party sites such as our browsing habits. Their entire business model is rooted in targeting advertising to us based on the voluminous intel they Hoover up in our activities.
Now Apple is not only threatening to impact those efforts to a high degree; they are succeeding. The analytical firm Flurry, a division of Verizon, began tracking the actions of users over the past 2 weeks following the release of the new update and the results are jarring for Facebook and others. In that time the number of users in the U.S. choosing to allow the tracking across apps is just 4%. This is hardly a small sample size. These figures are based on studying the activity of 2.5 million users.
For about six months already Facebook has been making overtures regarding the arrival of this feature. In one of the more tone-deaf efforts, the monolithically-sized Facebook ran an ad campaign claiming, of all things, that the move by Apple was a threat to small businesses. In a recent company posting Facebook tries to sell you on the concept that its algorithm is a benevolent enterprise designed to give you a catered personal experience. Their systems should be able to tell you what you want to see.
The only problem — the people are stating they want to have their tech unencumbered from the prying data drillers. Considering this is seeing Facebook, and others, being cut off from over 100 million phones this represents a severe loss of opportunity. One of the other floated solutions from the social media titan: threatening iPhone users with having to pay for access to Facebook and Instagram. That would become a very interesting development to watch, to see how many people would have a need to pay a premium for the right to have their personal information gathered up.