Facebook escalates feud with Apple over iOS privacy changes


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook is doubling down on its criticism of Apple with another ad claiming that the iPhone maker’s upcoming privacy changes to its mobile operating system will harm consumers by making “the internet much more expensive.”

Apple announced several new privacy updates for iOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year, including a feature called App Tracking Transparency that would require people to opt in to apps collecting their data rather than needing them to opt out. The update threatens to uproot several ad-tracking features in apps, including Facebook. In September, Apple decided to delay the feature’s rollout to 2021 so developers could have more time to make necessary changes. 

The new ad, slated to run in the The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Washington Post on Thursday, targets Apple’s privacy changes. The social network also ran full-page newspaper ads on Wednesday saying the feature in iOS 14, expected to be released early next year, will hurt small businesses. The company then expanded on its position in a blog post, saying that Apple’s new policy is “more about profit than privacy.” 

Facebook’s criticism of Apple is the latest in an ongoing public fight between two of the world’s largest tech companies. The social network, which has also been under fire for failing to safeguard user privacy, views Apple’s changes as an attack on personalized advertising. Facebook makes most of its money from ads, allowing the company to avoid charging people a subscription fee to use the social network.

Facebook has previously said the iOS update would mean less profit for advertisers because of less effective tracking. In the ads on Wednesday, Facebook says: “While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be…