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Facebook v Apple - the next iOS update is here and it's causing some tension...

There seems to be some friction between Facebook and Apple over a privacy-related change introduced by Apple as part of its roll-out of the new iOS update that comes out this week. As part of the update, any app developers using Apple's operating system will need to ask users’ for their consent to collect their data via the IDFA (identifier for advertisers). This was not required in older iOS versions.

Companies, including Facebook, use this IDFA to learn more about the users behaviour, enabling targeted advertising, as well as measuring ad success. As part of the update, this identifier will only be enabled if users choose to turn on this feature and it is expected that the majority of users won't do so. 

Facebook has expressed concerns that the update could reduce the money earned through advertising by 50% and that this may negatively impact small businesses that rely on apps such as Facebook for advertising purposes. 

Apple presents itself as a "privacy-first" company and this is an interesting shift in the default position, giving Apple users more control over when their data is collected and how it is used. Could this demonstrate a shift towards a more "privacy-focused era"? It will be interesting to see if and how App developers, including Facebook, respond and adapt to account for such changes.

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