Personalization and privacy can coexist; Facebook official

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Further heating up the ongoing privacy battle among them, social media giant Facebook has defended its personalized advertising approach and expressed its disagreement with iPhone maker Apple’s opinion that personalization and privacy cannot coexist. 

Earlier, Apple CEO Mr. Tim Cook had tweeted that the social media giant can continue to track users across apps and websites, just as before, as long as it gains permission from the iOS user through the App Tracking Transparency in its latest operating system.

Facebook’s Privacy and Public Policy Director Mr. Steve Satterfield stated that personalized advertising allows people to discover new products and brands while it supports businesses of all sizes, not just the ones with the biggest budgets, to reach people who are likely to be interested in what they offer.

In a blog post, the Facebook official remarked that his firm disagrees with Apple’s opinion and believes that “personalization doesn’t have to come at the expense of privacy.” adding that, “We can do both, and we can do both well.”

“We’ve built products that lead the industry in transparency and offer settings and controls to help people manage their privacy. Our products and data policies remain the best resources to understand our data practices,” Mr. Satterfield added.

The tech giants initially locked horns when Apple revealed its plan to restrict the amount of personal data that was made available to third-party developers including Facebook on its platform as part of its iOS 14 release.

Facebook, which earns most of its revenue through personalized ads collected through its app expressed its disagreement and went public with full-page ads in leading US publications forcing Apple to postpone the full enforcement of privacy practices in iOS 14 until next year.

The iPhone maker defended its move stating that it stood up for its users.

Speaking about the relevance of personalized ads, Mr. Satterfield that without personalized advertising “many new products and services would never get off the ground or would cost more, and you’d see ads that are less relevant, less timely and, therefore, interest you less”.

A recent image posted by Apple CEO revealed that iPhone users will have the option to either allow or disallow Facebook to track their activity across other companies’ apps and websites.

“We believe that with the right controls, we can preserve the value that both people and businesses get out of personalized advertising while respecting privacy and empowering people to control their information online,” the Facebook official remarked.