New iOS Privacy Update is Out: Only 4% of Americans are OK With Being Tracked

Not surprisingly, Facebook is strongly opposed to Apple's new privacy measures.
Loukia Papadopoulos

According to the latest data from Verizon-owned analytics firm Flurry Analytics, only 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. and 12% worldwide have agreed to app tracking. The news came after Apple rolled out its App Tracking Transparency feature with iOS 14.5 that lets users opt-out of being tracked.

"Until now, apps have been able to rely on Apple’s Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) to track users for targeting and advertising purposes. With the launch of iOS 14.5 this week, mobile apps now have to ask users who have upgraded to iOS 14.5 for permission to gather tracking data. With opt-in rates expected to be low, this change is expected to create challenges for personalized advertising and attribution, impacting the $189 billion mobile advertising industry worldwide," wrote Flurry on its site.

Flurry added that it is being used in over 1 million mobile applications, providing aggregated insights across 2 billion mobile devices per month. 

Facebook has been fighting Apple's new privacy measures by arguing that small businesses will suffer if tracking is removed and even Snapchat, Google, and Twitter have stated that these measures will affect their bottom line. This is no surprise as Apple's and Facebook's difference of opinion when it comes to privacy has long been known.

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook has been under heavy scrutiny from Apple CEO Tim Cook for allowing the information of more than 50 million Facebook users to be seen by a voter-profiling firm called Cambridge Analytica, without asking for user consent. During the scandal, Zuckerberg reached out to Cook to find out what he would do in his situation.

Cook told Zuckerberg to delete all information gathered about users beyond Facebook's core apps, encapsulates the two firms' vastly different models of offering online services to consumers. Cook prefers users to pay a premium in order to get a more private and safe internet experience while Zuckerberg opts for a more "open" internet where services like Facebook are essentially given a free hand to source their income from the market.

This was best illustrated by a statement made by Apple to the New York Times regarding their new privacy measures: "We simply believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it's used." And indeed Flurry Analytics' data suggest that people are more aligned with Apple's way of thinking, valuing their privacy above all. What will this mean for Facebook's business model? It's safe to say that we may be seeing some real changes on the way.

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