Today Facebook took out a full page ad in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post with the headline "We're standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere." (via Bloomberg) In it, Facebook argues that Apple is planning to roll out a "forced software update which will limit businesses' ability to run personalized ads and reach their customers effectively."
Facebook goes on to say that 44% of small to medium businesses started to use or increased usage of personalized ads on social media during the pandemic. The company says that it's own data shows that the average small business will lose 60% in sales for every dollar they spend without personalized ads.
What Facebook is taking issue with is a change that Apple will roll out to iOS 14 next year that will require apps to get a user's permission to track them or access their device's advertising identifier. This user and device data is linked with data from other companies apps and sites to create ads targeted at the user.
In a blog post, Facebook also argues that Apple wants to force businesses to use subscriptions and in-app purchases for revenue that would turn into profit for Apple. Facebook also claims that Apple's own personalized ad platform isn't subject to this policy. Despite all that, Facebook says, it must abide by Apple's rules or "face retaliation from Apple, which could only further harm" businesses.
Apple has since responded to Facebook's complaints, saying that "users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites" and decide if they want that to happen. Apple's full statement to MacRumors looks like this:
"We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not. App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice."
Apple also created a mockup of what Facebook's prompt asking permission to tracking could look like, which you can see below.