Apple rebuts criticism of Facebook, says iOS anti-tracking features are about ‘standing up for our users’

After a barrage of criticism from Facebook today, Apple is once again doubling down on its upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature. The feature will launch to users in 2021, and Apple says it “doesn’t require Facebook to change its approach to user tracking.”

In a statement to 9to5MacApple says the feature simply requires companies like Facebook to “give users a choice” regarding tracking. The feature, Apple explains, is “a simple matter of standing up for our users.”

The full statement:

“We believe this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users need to know when their data is being collected and shared with other apps and websites – and they should have the choice whether or not to allow it. App tracking transparency in iOS 14 doesn’t require Facebook to change its approach to user tracking and targeted ad creation, it just requires them to give users a choice. “

In addition, Apple emphasizes that the new tracking control features apply equally to all developers, including Apple itself. The company continues to point out that advertising is still possible, even with the new App Tracking Transparency feature, with the aim of giving users more control over their data by requiring explicit consent.

Once available in 2021, the App Tracking Transparency feature will be accessible by opening the Settings app, then searching for the Privacy menu and looking for the Tracking section. Here users can see which apps need permission to track them and revoke or grant permission if necessary.

Users also see a popup message when they open an application for the first time after this feature has been rolled out. Users will see the notification for new apps and apps they already have on their devices. In this popup, companies such as Facebook can explain to users why they should enable tracking.

Finally, Apple points out that if the developer is made aware of an application that violates the App Store guidelines, including with regard to privacy and tracking, the developer must address the issue, otherwise the app must be removed.

Apple also recently rolled out new App Privacy labels in the App Store, requiring developers to disclose to users what data they collect and how it is used.

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