Few things are more tiresome than a squabble between miscreant corporations, especially when they’re as scummy as Facebook and Apple. But here we are. Facebook—the surveillance/data-stealing monopoly—is lashing out at Apple for changing its operating system in a way that Facebook says will make it harder for businesses to assault users with targeted advertisements.
In a blog post, Facebook asserts that Apple’s new transparency policy is “about profit, not privacy.” As though Facebook isn’t motivated exclusively and pathologically by profit. Facebook accusing another predatory corporation of greed is like the US government condemning one of its enemies for war crimes. It’s just hypocrisy of the worst sort. All this garbage does make me tired; if only I had an electric adjustable bed to tumble into right now.
“Facebook is speaking up for small businesses,” writes Dan Levy, VP of Ads and Business Products, and Apple is “hurting small businesses and publishers who are already struggling in a pandemic.” Pretty rich coming from the company that, according to a lawsuit filed recently by the federal government, is actually a predatory trust that systematically crushes or takes over any business that it fears might eventually become a competitor and threaten its absolute domination of the social media and digital advertising markets. That company cares about small businesses. Sure.
What Apple will do is this: Whenever an iPhone user opens an app, the system will alert them to the fact that their data is being tracked for advertising purposes. The user can then opt out of the surveillance program if they wish.
That’s what has Facebook all steamed up right now. The company is so vexed that it took out full-page ads in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. The ad reads in part: “Without personalised ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend.”
“Facebook data,” eh? I’m sure that’s completely reliable. Definitely not skewed to Facebook’s advantage. My personal internal data shows that Facebook is full of shit. I trust that yours shows the same.