While the PR and media layer of Apple’s dispute with Facebook over user tracking by apps may still be going, at a strategic level the drama’s pretty much over, and it’s looking like Apple won.
In a nutshell, Apple will soon require apps that want to track user’s movements within other companies’ apps or websites to get explicit permission to do so from the user. Facebook’s apps have long done this without such explicit permission.
When the new feature, which Apple calls App Tracking Transparency, was announced earlier this year, Facebook complained loudly that the loss of tracking data will hurt Facebook—and will hurt small businesses more by reducing Facebook’s ability to carefully target ads for them. Apple said it has a responsibility to its users to give them transparency and choice over the way their personal data is used. Neither of those statements is inaccurate, but they leave little room for compromise.
This isn’t the first privacy row between the two…