Apple is clamping down on app developers that focus their business around the privacy and data of users that don’t know better.
Last year, Apple promised that it will focus more on the data privacy of its users. It introduced many features that allow Apple users to control which information are willing to share with apps.
Unfortunately, while Apple is giving back the power to its users, app developers are uneasy. Many of them focus their business around culling data from users’ devices and sell them for hyper-targeting marketing campaigns.
At the forefront of it is the social media giant, Facebook. In no subtle fashion, Apple took a jab at the company with an announcement of a new feature rollout.
Apple App Tracking Transparency for data privacy
Apple announced in WWDC 2020 that it will require all apps to have a privacy nutrition label (PNL). The idea is similar to the nutrition facts label found at the back of every grocery item. The privacy nutrition label is simply a write-up that tells users what information the app culls and what they are used for.
Ten months after, the majority of apps found in the App Store have complied with this requirement. Next up is the App Tracking Transparency (ATT). Some users are expected to not read the PNL before downloading an app. Therefore, Apple is giving the users a failsafe feature.
ATT allows users to control data tracking from app makers. As a result, data-hungry apps’ access to the users’ activity will be severely controlled. Turning this feature on will open the doors for more secure usage of apps.
Apps will no longer be able to push ads to users just because a keyword or phrase was mentioned in a private chat. Users will also no longer be bothered by ads that are aggressively pushed whichever part of the internet he goes to.
Facebook is not backing down
The social media giant has a big target on its back because of this feature. As such, Mark Zuckerberg is not taking the fight sitting down. It is reportedly filing an anti-trust lawsuit against the tech giant. It is doing it in the name of protecting small businesses that rely on the data that Facebook provides.
The effects of rolling out ATT will be both good and bad. It is good because, once and for all, users will gain back control of their private data. On the flip side, it is bad because small businesses can no longer feed off of the resources provided by the giants such as Facebook.
It remains to be seen how these events will pan out. However, one thing for sure is that it will be a long and arduous battle for both sides. Whoever comes out victorious will still leave a great deal of damage behind.