FB Strikes Back Against Apple’s Efforts to Curb Data Harvesting

Posted on February 26, 2021

Curb Data Harvesting

We’re just two months into the year and the nation’s biggest tech giants are already going head to head. Last month, iPhone maker Apple officially announced widespread efforts to curb data harvesting and provide more transparency and control over how companies track user data across websites and apps. Among the changes included revamped user permission settings and the introduction of the company’s new “Privacy Nutrition Label” — which will give users easy-to-read information based on the developer’s self-reported data practices. 

While some in the tech industry celebrated the move, Facebook was none too pleased. In a conference call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told stockholders “we increasingly see Apple as one our biggest competitors,” and launched a PR campaign of its own to propose that increased user controls could harm small business users who rely on ad targeting to deliver personalized ads.   

So what does this mean for marketers? While retargeting strategies certainly won’t go anywhere soon, how websites, apps, and other platforms collect, randomize and share data is likely to change. To Zuckerburg’s point, this move towards data-protection will almost certainly curtail marketers ability to serve personalized ads to targeted audiences on a wide array of channels, including Paid Search, Paid Social, and Programmatic— which could cut into the profit margins of small businesses. It’s unclear the extent to which personalized advertising will be handicapped, but time will tell. What we do know is that Facebook and Apple have a symbiotic relationship, and aren’t likely to push each other too far. 

We are following this story and its impacts on digital marketing closely. We will share more as things unfold.

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