" If John had bought the ice cream using Apple Card, his bank would not use his transaction information for marketing purposes. Had he used Apple Pay, Apple would have used on-device intelligence so that John could view his transaction history on his iPhone without Apple obtaining information about where he shopped, what he purchased, or how much he spent. " Without Apple knowing maybe but not without Mastercard/VISA knowing everything anyway?
You seem to be suggesting that just because some data leaks which is outside Apple's control that it's ok for all data to leak? But that makes no sense.
Edit: And adding that some of the data in question is in Apple's control (the IMEI for instance that could also be randomized/changed).
But we knew that. It's for Joe Public.
- figure out if and when your apps are active
- figure out if your apps using the network
- figure out what sites are they contacting
- block network access
On macos, they may have updated it so the third-party Little Snitch can block apple traffic (untested).
Even anonymous data shouldn't be collected without asking. And as google is showing, a fingerprint be deduced from imperfect data.
I have read FB engineers comment on HN that FB has a long tail of advertisers. Is that why they are being more vocal out of all companies?
In any case, I personally don't have a problem with ads as a revenue medium for companies, just the expansive data mining, especially when it is not communicated to the user clearly. Ads do provide a very good avenue for revenue generation for products where most users won't pay for the service because of competing products or just the frequency in which they use them. On the advertiser side, they do help push information about new products which we might not have known earlier.
Any research proving this?
I can search for knitting needles or be viewing a knitting post on Instagram. If an artisan needle seller wants to target his product it doesn't help targeting people who are not interested into artisan stuff. So to maximize the ad budget impact the ads are better left targeted specifically to people who have a higher likelihood of buying artisan stuff. This problem doesn't affect some mass market knitting needle seller.
Any reason this wouldn't work?
A nitpick, the advertiser is not collecting and getting PII. FB the ad platform, owns and controls that data.
Fully understand that Facebook is keep the PII close - that's their differentiation.
If Facebook was as terrible as Apple makes them out to be, why would Apple allow Facebook in their App Store and take 30% of the generated revenue? It's hypocritical for Apple to criticize Facebook. If anything, the App Store made Facebook more popular than ever, so it's a "monster" that Apple helped create.
EDIT: My perspective is that the App Store and iOS lockdown have been harmful to user privacy, and Facebook is merely a convenient enemy to distract from the harmfulness of Apple's own current business model. On the Mac, I can install Little Snitch and prevent software from phoning home to both facebook.com and apple.com. I can't do any of this on iPhone. (And indeed, Little Snitch is not even compatible with the restrictive Mac App Store rules, so it has to be distributed outside the MAS.) The iPhone platform is designed such that software like Facebook thrives, and software like Little Snitch cannot exist.
Apple isn't "creating" an enemy here. They aren't running full page advertising against Facebook. Apple is making it so users have to give permission before companies can utilize an API. Just giving that one power to end users has apparently scared the hell out of Facebook.
> ...why would Apple allow Facebook in their App Store and take 30% of the generated revenue?
Apple doesn't get 30% of Facebook's generated revenue. It gets 30% of sales and in-app purchases. Facebook doesn't use either as far as I know.
> If anything, the App Store made Facebook more popular than ever, so it's a "monster" that Apple helped create.
If they had perfect foreknowledge, Apple would likely have done this from the start. Steve Jobs made it very clear at the time that Apple itself should ask permission before collecting information every time. If they'd foreseen influential companies like Facebook creating APIs which were widely spread through the App Store, they'd have likely closed this door a long time ago.
Facebook does have IAP, as already discussed in other sub-comments.
> If they'd foreseen influential companies like Facebook creating APIs which were widely spread through the App Store, they'd have likely closed this door a long time ago.
It's been more than 12 years since the App Store opened. Apple didn't need perfect foreknowledge to take action long before now.
Where is Apple doing this? Far as I can tell Apple are just saying that people don’t understand how their data is being used, and that companies should educate, and get informed consent.
It’s Facebook that’s demonising Apple here, not the other way around. Other than in direct responses to attacks by Facebook, where has Apple even used Facebook’s name?
They don't have to use the name. Everyone including the news media knew that Apple was implying Facebook.
Facebook seems to be making themselves look like the target for browny points, that plus their recent data fuckups means they’re probably the first name that pops into people heads when you say “abuse of peoples data”. But that’s just an inditement of Facebooks dodgy data practices, not evidence that Apple implying or targeting them.
Quite frankly I don’t think Apple gives a shit about Facebook. Why the hell would they? There’s no profit in targeting them specifically.
> I don’t think Apple gives a shit about Facebook. Why the hell would they? There’s no profit in targeting them specifically.
I think you answered your own question. :-) Facebook is a convenient punching bag. Which is the point of an Orwellian enemy, who isn't actually an enemy except for the need of some enemy.
If I say “I believe that company’s that abuse my data are bad, and we should do something about that” have I also made Facebook an Orwellian enemy?
There were dozens, maybe hundreds of news media stories yesterday stating that Apple was attacking Facebook, so it's not just me. Here are 2 examples:
Moreover, the original comment that I replied to said "Apple knows they're going toe-to-toe with Facebook", so I'm not even the first one in these comments to make the suggestion. Some commenters are acting like this all came from me, but it didn't. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25958158
You claim Apple "Created" an Orwellian enemy. But all Cook did was describe a company which spies on people to make money, We didn't need him to call out who it is because everyone knows who it is based on the Orwellian description.
Yet Apple somehow (You claim) "Created" them.
Facebook is this Orwellian, we all know it based on what we know about Facebook. Tim Cook didn't fabricate this, it's public knowledge.
In other words, Apple is creating an enemy for themselves, an enemy of Apple. When in fact the two companies are not enemies in the business sense of having competing products, and indeed Apple profits directly from the In App Purchases in the Facebook app — IAP which do exist, contrary to several other false claims in these comments — and profits indirectly by having Facebook in their App Store. Facebook too has profited and become more popular by being on iPhone and the App Store.
But now Apple's App Store is under serious scrutiny, not to mention lawsuits, so Apple is looking to justify its lockdown, and "privacy" fits the bill there, despite the fact that Facebook has always been "creepy", since the beginning of the App Store and before.
The purpose of an "Orwellian" enemy is to justify the heavy-handed control of the rulers and to distract the populace from that situation. "Good thing we have Apple's strict App Store rules to protect us from evildoers like Facebook!"
We're talking about adding a permission the user can select.
This is increasing the amount of control users have over their device. Yet you want to use this bizarre Machiavellian scheme to try and make it look like some sinister Apple Plot.
Guess what. Adding a dialog that warns me people are trying to spy on me isn't bad. Ever.
Apple may not see Facebook as a competitor, but that feeling is not mutual.
Given Apple's focus on privacy combined with their huge footprint in the US, Facebook may see them as an existential threat, and be using the word "competitor" to represent that.
I agree that Apple is an existential threat to Facebook, given that Apple has absolute control over software distribution on iPhone. In that sense they're competitors, but not in the standard sense of having competing products.
It's the lesser of two evils for Apple. So instead of pissing off their customers, they have chosen to piss off Facebook.
In any case, part of my previous comment was noting how the decade+ of the App Store has actually contributed to and encouraged the advertised-financed "attention economy". Apple wasn't just an innocent bystander that whole time; they designed the platform and the App Store.
Recently, Facebook added in-app purchases for things like X.
Facebook is currently 43 in the list of the top grossing apps. I'm still running iTunes 12.6 which shows these lists.
Nobody cares that small businesses benefit from targeted FB ads except FB and small businesses, customers certainly don’t, users don’t.
The small group of users that would care about that is the same group that hates Facebook and Amazon already and won’t be persuaded by FB on this or really even listen.
Apple’s argument is clearer and more directly benefits their users.
FB and small businesses don’t have the political power to force a win here and their argument isn’t as persuasive as Apple’s.
It doesn’t look great for them.
I think they’re probably correct about the long tail ads and the benefit to small businesses, but I also don’t care. I’d rather the targeted ad model fail.
Ben Thompson argues that if Apple wins this then only FB, Google and other ad monopoly mega corps will be competitive in the ad space because they’re the only ones that can collect information on users in other ways even with Apple’s move to stop tracking.
That may be true in the short term.
If legislation trends in the CCPA, GDPR direction and users prefer the moves Apple is making then the ad model may start to falter for them too.
The sooner, the better.
This is about Facebook, not small businesses. There is little evidence that small businesses will be significantly impacted by this. I'm sure some ad-supported developer firms will be hit, but most small businesses won't notice this.
Edit: Smaller companies also rely on these IDs because they aren't able to track in other ways in the way that the large companies can.
That said, I still think this ad-driven model is bad and if it became non-viable I'd hope long term privacy restrictions would also make it non-viable for the large players too.
If you run an Italian restaurant, how does this impact you? You can still sell advertising to Facebook users in your area because Facebook itself has your location. Facebook still knows you eat at Italian restaurants every Tuesday night because they buy your credit information.
Facebook still has piles of user information to sell targeted advertising against. So tell me again, how is this impacting small businesses advertising?
I think this is a worthwhile read: https://stratechery.com/2020/privacy-labels-and-lookalike-au...
> "Small businesses did just fine before FB."
You can't really compare the old pre-internet, pre-amazon world with our current one and assume things that were 'just fine' then still apply.
A local restaurant is a bad example, better examples are small companies making a niche product or independent platforms in a niche. This affects companies buying ads on FB, but also those trying to understand their own customers to compete with Amazon and the other large companies. I don't work in ads, but I've talked to Googlers that do and the ads really do have a big impact for small businesses. I'd believe this is true.
From that Stratechery article:
"Amazon, meanwhile, is increasingly where shopping searches start, particularly for Prime customers, and the company’s ad business is exploding. Needless to say, Amazon doesn’t need to request special permission for IDFAs or to share emails with 3rd parties to finely target its ads: everything is self-contained, and to the extent the company advertises on platforms like Google, it can still keep information about customer interests and conversions to itself. That means that in the long run, independent merchants who wish to actually find their customers will have no choice but to be an Amazon third-party merchant instead of setting up an independent shop on a platform like Shopify.
This decision, to be clear, will not be because Amazon was acting anticompetitively; the biggest driver — which, by the way, will also benefit Facebook’s on-platform commerce efforts — will be Apple, which, in the pursuit of privacy, is systematically destroying the ability of platform-driven small businesses to compete with the Internet giants."
This is kind of my point.
People keep echoing this phrase "Harming Small Business", the implication is it's an issue which affects all small businesses. It doesn't.
It's not even clear based on your post what type of business is impacted, or how many. Just some niche products... what does that even mean? Sellers on Etsy?
If you look through your ad feed what do you see? When I had FB, most of the ads were for products (or services) from small businesses. Maybe you can dispute small, but that was the majority.
> "Sellers on Etsy?"
I think that'd be included yeah, also anyone with a shopify store, etc.
I'm not the right person to ask but I'd believe there's large volume here, I'd also be happy to be proven wrong.
What makes you think the quantity of quality of advertising on Facebook is going to change? They still have:
- Your location
- A list of what you post about, what you link, what photos you've shared, what activities you've attended, what groups you are in, etc etc.
- All of the above about many of you friends and family members just in case there are interests you don't talk about on Facebook.
So how exactly is whether Facebooking that I checked the weather on the corner of 3rd and Center at 7pm going to help those small businesses advertising on Facebook?
Is there going to be some flash umbrella store around the corner if rain is in the forecast?
The affect on FB ads specifically I don't know, I'd suspect it being harder for FB to be as effective with targeting which could make the ads less useful (and that could harm small businesses that use them).
The ability for other non-megacorp companies to understand their customers is more the issue.
I think you're focusing on a narrow thing and ignoring the rest.
Fundamentally, whether this is going to favor the mega-corps or not, I don't want people tracking me. I don't want companies having the sort of information Facebook and Google have, they've demonstrated they are poor stewards of our data. At the same time, I don't want additional companies to gain access to a stream of information about me, regardless of whether that helps FB and GOOG or not.
If helping FB and GOOG is the cost of keeping more information about myself (My family, etc) private, then I guess I'm Ok with that. It's the lesser of 2 evils.
Certainly some business will die, but I suspect the vast majority will find other inexpensive avenues of reaching their customers, without having to step on their privacy.
Also, I don't agree that this is going to broadly affect small businesses. I accept that it's possible a few businesses in some places will be hit, but there isn't a ton of evidence that it's going to have a broad impact. Facebook still has massive profiles of users to provide a broad set of ad targeting tools.
The hair dresser down the corner isn't going to lose sleep over this. Nor is my favorite taqueria or sandwich shop.
Also, for niche products wouldn't keyword advertising be just as effective?
How about hardware implants? https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/12/30/the-nsa-rep...
Which article? The one above is new.
I'm all for marketing to one's strengths, but Apple products leak so much data (hardware serial numbers, for example) that this sort of marketing strikes me now as actively dishonest.
Apple collects just as much data (sometimes more!) as all of these shady data broker types they vilify in the document.
Your client IP discloses the city the device is in, and the ISP. This means that Apple has a city-level, ISP-level location tracklog of every iOS device and all M1 macs (and possibly intel macs too) by serial number.
You're not asked, you're not even told. This is the exact opposite of their headline founder quote on the first non-title page of the doc.
Would you like a pcap? I can send you a pcap.
GP just said Apple has the info and it can't be turned off.
Which I find interesting in the context of the PDF above.