Even within Facebook, some are starting to disassociate themselves from the position chosen by Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. Indeed, in recent days the most powerful of social networks has gone to war with Apple. The reason ? The Apple has forced Facebook to ask its users for permission to use their personal data, and therefore to set up an option in which they would refuse, in order to leave a real choice to everyone.
And this announcement went very badly on the Facebook side. The social network is indeed defending itself from wanting to help small businesses which use Facebook’s tracking systems every day in order to carry out targeted advertising, and thus increase their sales.
Facebook stands up for small businesses
And to make its vision heard, Facebook has gone to great lengths. In a fight that seems almost lost for the social network (Apple dictating the rules it wants on its devices in terms of privacy) Facebook has not hesitated for a second to spend thousands, even millions of dollars for display in the full page of many American newspapers the vision of the “Free Internet” that he defends.
But Facebook’s view of the internet is also the one that best suits its economic system. The social network is only profitable because of targeted advertising, and banning them would cut off the tap of revenue at Facebook, which could kill the social network, in the more or less long term.
A line of defense contested even internally
But this defense, it does not please everyone. First of all, the other big companies on the net are not in a hurry to come and defend Facebook. Today, Mozilla is the company that has communicated the most on this subject, and it has chosen the side of Apple. The spokespersons of the browser even announced “that Apple had gone further than we expected”. Another support for Apple is the NGO EFF, which defends the freedom and rights of individuals on the Web.
But even within Facebook, opinions differ. If the majority of employees follow official doctrine, at least in public. Some don’t hesitate to say their way of thinking, as BuzzFeed recently revealed. One of the employees of the social network would indeed have declared that “Facebook uses small businesses as a shield”.
End of story in January
For its part, Apple gave Facebook a break, and asked the social network to reconsider the way in which users’ personal data are processed. Apps have until the end of January 2021 to comply with Apple’s rules or else they will be banned from the App Store, and Facebook, as powerful as it is, will be no exception.