Facebook Claims iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency “Hurts Small Businesses”


Facebook has gone on the offensive on Apple’s new iOS 14 app tracking transparency policy that threatens its business.

So what exactly happened in iOS14? Well in June, Apple introduced a policy that required developers to provide information about some of your app’s data collection practices on your product page and also to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies.

As you can see, that doesn’t bode well with Facebook. Facebook is a company that relies on cookies that they use to know you better to serve you relevant ads that advertisers pay to connect with you. Apple’s move threatens this rather profitable business plan and they have gone on the offensive on this plan with an interesting angle: the small businesses angle.

“Facebook is speaking up for small businesses. Apple’s new iOS 14 policy will have a harmful impact on many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever,” Facebook said in a post.

Facebook claims that Apple’s policies hurt small businesses who are struggling in a pandemic, will force businesses to turn into subscriptions and they are not playing by their own rules. They say the impact on entrepreneurs, content creators and small businesses is massive, where they claim that in testing, publishers experience more than 50% drop in revenue when personalization was removed from mobile app and install campaigns. Facebook also threw more numbers saying that when running ads on Facebook, small businesses advertisers saw a cut of over 60% of their sales on average for every dollar they spent when they weren’t able to use their own data to find customers on Facebook.

The company also touched on the one big gripe other companies have had beef with Apple, their Apple tax on app payments. Facebook says that by doing this, content creators will turn to making money in other ways like subscriptions that seek a 15-30% tax on the App Store.

Despite all of this, Facebook says that they have no choice but to show Apple’s prompt and if they don’t, Apple will block Facebook from the App Store. “We believe Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses. We continue to explore ways to address this concern,” they said.

In an interesting move, Facebook says that they will work with the World Wide Web Consortium, the Partnership for Responsible Addressable media and World Federation of Advertisers to “develop and implement new standards that further protect people’s privacy but do so in a way that keeps content free for people and enables businesses to grow.”

This has been a difficult few months for Facebook. In addition to their business model getting threatened by Apple, they are also facing a huge legal challenge by the US government where they want to split Facebook. It seems like 2021 will be a difficult year for the 16 year old social network.