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Apple Promises Privacy in iOS 14, Slams Facebook For Its Target Ads

Apple has committed to improving privacy with its anti-tracking features in the iOS 14 update, before subtly criticising Facebook for its own data mining practises.

The iPhone make this week confirmed it would be making software mobile upgrades which will limit tracking for targeted advertising, a move which has upset social media giant Facebook.

After revealing the rollout would be delayed until 2021, a coalition of digital civil rights groups penned a letter that the privacy features wouldn’t be available during the initial iOS 14 update.

In response, Apple’s Senior Director of Global Privacy said the feature – named App Tracking Transparency (ATT) – assured the rollout was delayed to give developers proper time to update their own systems and admitted the move has not been welcomed by some companies.

“We delayed the release of ATT to early next year to give developers the time they indicated they needed to properly update their systems and data practices, but we remain fully committed to ATT and to our expansive approach to privacy protections,” wrote Jane C. Horvath.

“Some companies that would prefer ATT is never implemented have said that this policy uniquely burdens small businesses by restricting advertising options, but in fact, the current data arms race primarily benefits big businesses with big data sets.”

“Facebook and others have a very different approach to targeting,” Horvath continued.

“Not only do they allow the grouping of users into smaller segments, they use detailed data about online browsing activity to target ads.

“Facebook executives have made clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible across both first and third party products to develop and monetize detailed profiles of their users, and this disregard for user privacy continues to expand to include more of their products.”

ATT’s main function is to let users know when companies want to track their online behaviour across multiple apps and websites.

Earlier this year, Facebook said in a statement the privacy feature would “hurt many of our developers and publishers at an already difficult time for businesses.”