Facebook accuses Apple of harming small businesses

Facebook accuses Apple of harming small businesses

Social media giant Facebook attacked Apple sharply on Wednesday, accusing the Apple brand of harming small businesses with its new transparency measures on the collection of personal data.

“The new rules for Apple’s iOS 14 (mobile operating system) are going to have a detrimental impact on many small businesses struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet, on which we all rely more than ever.” , wrote Dan Levy, Facebook vice president of advertising and business products in a blog post.

Mark Zuckerberg’s group also offered a full page advertisement in several major American dailies, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and put online a website gathering testimonials from small traders. .

Earlier this week, during an update of iOS, Apple strengthened its criteria for developers who wish to offer their applications for download on the App Store, the online store of the Californian group.

Developers must now provide detailed information about how information given by users is retrieved and used.

The details regarding the data collected by the Facebook application are particularly numerous.

Apple has put forward a concern for transparency to defend these changes, which have been mentioned since June and are part of a vast company policy on data management.

But Facebook believes Apple is far more interested in financial gain than privacy by drastically limiting the ability for developers to serve targeted ads.

“This will force companies to turn to in-app subscription and purchase models, which means Apple will benefit and many free services will have to become paid or exit the market,” says Levy.

The official goes so far as to accuse Apple of anti-competitive practice “by using their control of the App Store to inflate their balance sheet at the expense of app developers and small businesses.”

The iPhone maker also takes a commission of up to 30% on consumer transactions made through the App Store.

The amount of this “tax” is notably contested by Epic Games, the publisher of the popular Fortnite video game, the downloading of which is banned from Apple devices until the summer of 2021.

In his column, Mr. Levy indicates that Facebook will provide elements to justice showing that this ban hits the advertising revenue of the social network.

At a summit in Brussels last week, Apple’s vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, anticipated negative reactions to the new transparency measures.

He then described the attacks as “brazen attempts to maintain the status quo on invasion of privacy.”

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