Facebook asks iPhone users to opt into activity tracking

Facebook has started showing certain users of its app on iPhone and iPad a notification which requests them to allow the company to track their activity across apps and websites.

According to a report from CNBC, the company is testing the prompt in an attempt to entice users to be served with personalised ads.

Facebook appears to be pre-empting Apple’s incoming iOS 14 policy update.

With the changes set to roll out in this update, iPhone and iPad devices will start informing users if an app is using activity tracking information and provide an option to disallow it.

One version of Facebook’s prompt states that allowing it to track the user’s activity will serve them ads that are more personalised and will support businesses that rely on ads to reach customers.

“To provide a better ads experience, we need permission to use future activity that other apps and websites send us from this device. This won’t give us access to new types of information,” the notification reads.

Facebook also included a link for users to learn more about how it limits the use of their activity if they choose to turn the feature off.

Below are two versions of the notification that Facebook has started showing iOS users, as shared by CNBC.


Facebook vs Apple

Facebook has in the past heavily criticised Apple over the new privacy policies, even taking out full-page advertorials slamming the changes.

Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Apple one of his company’s biggest competitors and claimed the changes coming in iOS 14 would hurt millions of businesses around the world.

The following day, Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared to allude to Facebook in a scathing statement made at a data privacy conference.

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform,” Cook said.

The ability to personalise ads according to the online behaviour of a user is one of the reasons why advertising on Facebook is attractive to businesses.

Without this capability among Apple’s user base, Facebook could potentially lose a significant amount of revenue.

Now read: What you need to know before moving your WhatsApp chats to Telegram

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Facebook asks iPhone users to opt into activity tracking