Facebook could take Apple to court over iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency feature

nanoguy

Posts: 717   +12
Staff member
In brief: Facebook sees Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature as a weapon pointed at its apps, so it's currently considering the idea of a lawsuit against the Cupertino company. But with so many regulators looking closely at the social giant for antitrust issues, that may not be the best idea.

By now, it's no longer a secret that Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14 has prompted Facebook to essentially declare war on the Cupertino giant. To that end, the social network has been using everything from executive statements to newspaper ads and even shoving policy changes in users' faces to make Apple look like the bad guy and discredit and undermine its effort to increase transparency for services that depend on ad tracking for revenue.

Facebook closed out 2020 in surprisingly good financial standing, despite navigating what could only be described as a difficult period for a company that makes most of its revenue from advertising. However, the social media firm did warn investors that it faces "significant uncertainty" this year, which is why the company is scrambling to prevent its main stream of revenue from drying up at a time when online commerce is booming and shifts in consumer demand are making advertising more profitable.

According to a report from The Information, Facebook is ready to go to court to protect its interests. It is said to be planning to argue that Apple is using privacy as an excuse to abuse its dominant position. Specifically, the company will argue that Apple routinely imposes App Store rules on other developers while not following them when it comes to its own services.

In the case of iOS 14's App Tracking Transparency feature, which is designed to let users opt-out of being tracked across apps, Facebook could focus on proving that it gives Apple a competitive advantage in areas like messaging, shopping, and gaming -- especially as Apple also requires developers to use its own in-app payment service.

Another point of attack is said to be Apple's insistence on not allowing third-party alternatives to iMessage to be set as the default messaging app on iPhone and iPad. Facebook would argue that this in turn locks consumers into Apple's ecosystem, which it views as anti-competitive behavior.

It's not clear at this point how determined Facebook is on filing the lawsuit, but given how important targeted advertising is for the company's bottom line, it wouldn't surprise anyone if it does happen. It's said that Facebook executives are facing some "internal resistance" from employees over the possibility of this being a weak case for a company that is the subject of at two antitrust lawsuits from the FTC as well as 40 state attorneys general. Even more so in the context of a new lawsuit that alleges Facebook and Google made a deal to help one another against antirust action.

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Burty117

Posts: 4,045   +2,027
Apple try to do something consumer friendly by letting users have control of who tracks you and what info they collect on you. Facebook taking them to court over this is going to make them look even worse.

The thing is, most users will just accept the privacy invasion so they can use Facebook, they just don't want people to know just how MUCH info they actually collect...
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,427   +1,033
Facebook is the worst kind of corporation. They profit by the billions from selling your data. And it’s not just data on Facebook, if Facebook is installed they keep pretty much everything, what time you go to bed, where you go. It’s a disgusting invasion of privacy.

And when Apple threaten to hand privacy back to its users, Facebook goes down the route of the courts in attempt to force Apple from doing a consumer friendly action. Please, everyone for the sake of human decency, drop this in humane organisation. Delete Facebook. Move on.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 645   +565
F@ckerberg should be declared unfit to run a business and be banned for life. He's an out and out scum of epic proportions. I'm no Apple fan, but on this measure I applaud them. Fakebook and Google needed to have their power greatly diminished and they way to do that is take our data from them.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,365   +3,807
All Apple has to do in order to stop Facebook cold is make all tracking done by their OWN apps 100% opt-in and allow third party apps to be defaults for messaging, email, etc.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +727
I see some merits in Facebook's case, require apple to let other apps be the default message app and require apple to abide by its own rules. Neither company is less slimy and unhanded than the other.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 310   +212
Look, Apple is no saint. Not even close, there is plenty of slime at Cupertino, but not in this case.

Facebook is scum of the Internet since its inception. Did Apple allow and provided a free-speech platform to stream live beheadings, terrorist shootings, revenge porn, live suicides, etc or Facebook? For this alone FB should be a history long time ago with Zuck watching very empty, very white walls in some completely forsaken by civilization place until end of his miserable life.

FB lawsuit is lost cause from the get go. People who aren't into Apple ecosystem don't know you can basically leave no digital fingerprint even with Apple own software. It's possible to delete all personal information/account from Apple servers every day if you so wish. Kind of paranoia inducing after a week if you ask me.

As mentioned above by psycros and candle_86 that's exactly what Apple has to do. Put more misery on Zuck Apple.