Facebook Worried About the Privacy Settings in the Upcoming iOS 14

By Bill Toulas / August 27, 2020

The upcoming iOS 14 will be Apple’s most private version ever, as the company wants to make leaps in that area. Thus, they announced clipboard reading restrictions, an option for “approximate location” in the app permission options, more granular and transparent permission controls for the microphone and the camera, as well as changes to the advertising API that will limit user data collection.

This will obviously make targeted advertising a lot harder, and even impossible if the users don’t provide their consent. So, the companies that are getting rich by these operations are now nervous.

Facebook is one of the pillars of this business model along with Google, so naturally, they are worried that iOS 14 will adversely affect their system. As they told their ad network partners today, the new Facebook SDK for iOS 14 won’t collect the unique advertiser identifier assigned to each device.

As for the “Off-Facebook Activity” tracking, users will have an option to allow this, but it makes no sense at all to expect the vast majority to do it. After all, users were letting companies track them before either because they weren’t given any other option, or because they didn’t know about it.

The impact that this change will have on Facebook goes without saying. The company characteristically mentions the following:

“We expect these changes will disproportionately affect Audience Network given its heavy dependence on app advertising. Like all ad networks on iOS 14, advertisers’ ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns on Audience Network will be impacted. As a result, publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

This will send ripple effects to app developers too, who will get lower CPMs since the ads they will be serving their users will no longer be targeted. Considering that the iOS 14 is going to land on all devices from iPhone 6 and later, the new API is really going to have a widespread effect. Facebook doesn’t have much choice at this point, so they may try to negotiate with Apple to figure something out.

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