Digital Marketing

Apple VS Facebook: Brawl Over ‘Privacy’

April 30, 2021 4 min read
Apple VS Facebook | VDO.AI


Apple VS Facebook: Brawl Over ‘Privacy’

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A huge rift is taking place between the CEOs of the biggest companies – Apple VS Facebook. Going by the statistics, it is enthralling to know that Apple made sales of $274.5 billion in 2020 while Facebook made nearly $85.9 billion through targeted online advertising.  

The ‘tech-war’ has started on the occasion of the introduction of a new profound feature for iPhone and iPad users. The feature will enable the users to give a nod to having their data fetched by applications. The big techies are now crossing swords over this policy disagreement.

Apple is rolling out an update to its iOS 14 operating system in the coming week that prompts users to allow apps to track their activity across other apps and the internet. That change, which the iPhone maker names ‘App Tracking Transparency’, may seem petite. Many apps already track users’ internet activity through the default settings they allow when they install them.

Apple VS Facebook | VDO.AI
Source: Tapsmart

In the new update for iOS, Apple users will see a pop-up that overtly says an app wants permission to track them. App developers can use this pop-up to elucidate how user information will be used by the company.

Apple wants to leave it to the users whether they want to participate in the information-harvesting protocol of allowing companies like Facebook to keep a check on the ways how people use their phones. Through this system, big tech companies like Facebook fetch bits of information from the users to help companies target their audiences. It leads to the generation of effective advertising which, in turn, helps the brand become profitable.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, is standing strong on his viewpoint that privacy is a human right of the users and that it should be up to them whether to allow companies to access their data or not. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows his discernment over the matter that Tim Cook’s decision will impact the profitable working of small-scale businesses and will elevate costs across the internet.

Apple VS Facebook | Tim Cook | VDO.AI
Source: Medium

The war of words between the two CEOs will bring a severe blow to the business model for either of the companies. Facebook CEO is positive enough of the users’ response over this new privacy policy of Apple that it says; around 80% of users will not give a nod to this.

What made Apple introduce this?

Apple is making handsome money by selling devices and through in-app purchases. Apple’s focus is not much on advertising and that’s why it doesn’t emphasize accessing users’ data. Also, Apple has always followed the legacy of ‘privacy-first.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in an interview acknowledged that it is important that the users should know how companies are accessing their information and data even if they don’t care about how much data they are sharing by using apps.

Viewpoint of Facebook 

Facebook disagrees with this and says that Apple is being hypocritical in this matter as it will deliberately make businesses turn to subscriptions and various in-app payments.

Facebook also took out instances from the global COVID-19 pandemic, recalling how small-scale businesses thrived during the pandemic with the help of targeted ads.

Apple VS Facebook | VDO.AI
Source: Business Insider

The relationship between Facebook and Apple CEOs is getting tenser over this virtual quarrel, which is equally right and equally gross!

The digital world will witness a new spin at the end of this beef between Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg. The winner of this fight will give new dimensions to businesses working modules and users’ interaction with mobile applications.

How could this feud affect users?

The users, who have nothing to do with the advertisements, may not get affected by the change by showing their disagreement with tracking. For those who depend on Facebook’s advertising for their purchase of certain products and services, the ads would be less relevant to them.

How could this feud affect advertisers?

As mentioned by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, this new feature can have a rippling effect on advertisers, especially the small-business owners who strived this quarter because of the targeted ads which was possible because of increase in the digital consumption by the users. It will be difficult for the advertisers to reach their target market without the tracking data of the users. 

Who will win the fight? Who is right?

While saying Apple is being hypocritical, Facebook has in a way pin-pointed itself as well because it is also concerned for its profit-making through the ads through social and email networks. Facebook is afraid of losing its credible source of $86 billion annual revenue via targeted ads. It would not be wrong that profit-making is the ultimate goal of both the companies for the introduction and disagreement of the new feature. It would be a little judgmental to call either party ‘right’ because both the companies have their partially right and partially hypocritical viewpoints on this matter. Apart from Facebook, Snapchat while supporting Apple’s new feature also said that it shows a risk of interruption for advertising.


This article is a work of VDO.AI Research Team and doesn’t intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments and believes. This is purely based on thorough research and surveys and aims to make readers more vigilant and updated.

For more such updates and information, visit out Knowledge Base.

Mehak is a Marketing Associate at VDO.AI. An enthusiastic marketer and a creative writer, she reaches out for the books when monotony calls for an escape.