Facebook & Apple Are Fighting Over Your Privacy

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

Apple’s newest iOS update has Facebook and small businesses in a panic. The App Tracking Transparency feature will now require apps to get iPhone user’s permission to track them for ad targeting. Given the fact that people tend to not want to be tracked, many business owners argue that this will be detrimental to their business growth because of their reliance on the use of collecting personal data. Facebook’s pixel trackers are used on mobile apps and websites to collect data that helps marketers and creators make more personalized ads. If you think about it, everyday people are using apps like Facebook to discover content that’s relevant to their interests and needs. This level of personalization has become valuable to both users and the apps themselves. However, this new update will make it harder for apps to gather that data to personalize what’s presented to the user. It will limit the ability to effectively reach an audience, analyze user behavior and engage them on mobile devices and across the internet. Facebook has been making the argument that without these personalized ads, small business owners will start to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend. So for instance, a small bakery might invest $50 and only get 2 sales. This is due to the decrease in personalization and increase in cost per action. Apple’s response to all this is simply that businesses don’t need all this personal data to succeed. One spokesperson for Apple recently stated that their “goal is to create technology that keeps people’s information safe and protected. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and our teams work every day to embed it in everything we make.” As marketers, we believe that more data is more cost-efficient and that the more we have of it, the easier it is to stay relevant to your audience as a brand. The only purpose of the data we use is to help us find the right people and offer them the products and services they are looking for. It’s a win for small businesses and a win for the consumer.

Facebook is fuming over Apple’s update, stating that “the policy and the limits it places on advertising will harm the growth of businesses and the free internet,” even going as far as stating the hypocrisy of their privacy policies saying that it’s only in their best interest, not the users’. They also believe that the update has the potential to be extremely detrimental to their revenue and can harm a part of Facebook’s own business, including Audience Network, a tool that personalizes ads in third-party apps. In response to all this, Facebook still plans to introduce new ad features and analytic tools to help fight against the limitations of the new feature. The app believes that personalized ads and user privacy can still coexist, and plans to provide updates and additional resources which will support efforts to preserve user privacy while helping business owners run effective campaigns. Now most recently, the situation escalated to an antitrust lawsuit and multiple ads to bash the big tech giant. The lawsuit claims that Apple abused its power by making apps listed on its App Store follow specific policies that Apple’s own apps do not, such as requiring developers to use an in-app payments system, of which Apple takes a cut. Regardless of the volatility that’s been coming from Facebook, Apple still plans to roll out their update in early spring. 

Personalized marketing depends strongly on data related to your customers to help you create a more efficient strategy for targeting them. The data we use is to help us stay relevant in our ads because who wants to see an ad that isn’t directed towards them? Nobody. Through data, we can effectively target specific audiences, build deeper relationships with customers, make better product recommendations, and create better content. The concept is simple. As marketers, this update is a bit worrisome, however, we can find ways to work around it. One thing you can do is run website visit campaigns and use your own internal tracking instead to determine if a conversion occurred as a result of the ads. You can also create an extra layer or break down your conversion flow on your landing pages by asking users to provide information about themselves earlier in the conversion process. At the end of the day, the moral of the story is to adapt and overcome. The number one killer of businesses is the failure to adapt to change. The best way to start is by figuring out new ways to get data. As you rely less on the Facebook pixel for tracking, you’ll find new ways to gather insightful data to help mitigate the effects of these new updates. Trust us, we can help you adapt. 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!