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Battle between Apple and Facebook intensifies

Photo of iPhone 11 Pro camera with Tim Cook in the background
The camera that launches a thousand memes. Source: Apple

Apple and Facebook have been sparring over iOS 14's privacy changes for months. But last week, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg accused Apple of using its dominance to prefer its own apps, it was a clear escalation. We take a look at what Apple is changing, how it will impact Facebook, and Apple CEO Tim Cook's ideas around technology companies. What changes has Apple introduced? Apple’s latest operating system update, iOS 14, will require apps to ask a user’s permission to track their activity and data across apps and websites operated by other companies. If users do opt-out of granting such access — which they will most likely do — it would imply that mobile apps will lose a major source of data, and thus, the ability to monetise it. Though announced in 2020, iOS 14 will be rolling out to users in spring 2021.   Zuckerberg accuses Apple of preferencing own apps  On January 27, on an earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “we increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors”, accusing Apple of using its “dominant platform position” to preference its own apps, while putting other apps at a disadvantage. “We’re also seeing Apple’s business depend more and more on gaining share in apps and services against us and other developers,” Zuckerberg added.  Apple may say that the updates are to help people, but their moves “clearly track their competitive interests”, Zuckerberg said.  How will this impact Facebook? Of all companies, Facebook’s ecosystem would perhaps suffer…

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