Technology 3 min read

Apple iOS 14.5 Update Will Limit Facebook's Data Collection Capability

Photo by <a href= target=_blank>Hendrik Morkel</a> on <a href= target=_blank>Unsplash</a>

Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash

Apple has confirmed that it would be releasing its long-awaited iOS 14.5 update this week.

The Silicon Valley-based company started beta testing the iOS 14.5 last February. But on Tuesday last week, Apple has already sent the Release Candidate, or the version that will be released to the public, to all its beta testers.

According to tech experts, the iOS 14.5 has the most features ever packed into a version of iOS. Here are some of them:

  • New U.S. English Siri voices
  • Battery calibration
  • 5G Dual SIM
  • New 217 emojis
  • Support for PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X Controllers

The update is also set to fix a major problem with using Face ID when an iPhone user is wearing a face mask. Instead of removing the mask, users would be able to unlock their phones using the Apple Watch.

With these new cool features aimed at improving user experience, there’s no doubt that Apple fans are ecstatic. However, one company has vocally expressed its displeasure with the upcoming iOS release ~ Facebook.

Facebook is not Happy With the iOS 14.5 Update

It’s no secret that Facebook profits from selling mobile advertisements. According to reports, Facebook’s total advertising revenue during the 4th quarter of 2020 has reached over 27 billion USD. Majority of the said amount came from mobile ads.

Facebook’s business model relies heavily on user data, which it collects whenever FB users log into browsers and other apps through computers or mobile devices. But with the iOS 14.5 release looming just around the corner, Facebook is expected to receive a huge blow.

To date, Facebook and other mobile ads sellers use Apple’s identifier for advertisers (IDFA) to target advertisements and estimate their effectiveness. FB uses IDFA in tandem with its tracking pixels to monitor an Apple device user’s every movement on the web.

Unfortunately for the social networking giant, the upcoming iOS update will set the App Tracking Transparency feature of an iPhone or iPad to ON by default. Meaning, Facebook and other companies collecting user data must ask a user for permission first before they could use IDFA.

Facebook already predicted that about 80% of iPhone and iPad users would not grant them permission to collect data. At the moment, the company has 49 million downloads in the Apple App Store, not including its other apps like Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

In a statement released last Wednesday, Facebook said:

“Apple’s prompt requirement will prohibit certain data collection and sharing by businesses unless people opt in. This will create limitations for businesses that use Facebook advertising for mobile apps on iOS devices, as well as those that drive business results through their website.”

To minimize the impact on businesses, the company announced that it will implement new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols like the Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement. FB has urged businesses running ads on Facebook and Instagram to update their Facebook SDK to the 8.0 or above version to prevent ad campaign disruptions.

To read Facebook’s full action plan, you can go here.

Read More: Apple’s IOS 14 Could Disrupt In-App Advertising

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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