Following Apple’s and Google’s radical privacy changes, Facebook announced that it will adapt privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to its ad business to minimize data collection and improve user privacy.
‘’With Apple and Google continuing to make changes via their browsers and operating systems, and with the changing privacy regulatory landscape, it’s important to acknowledge that digital advertising must evolve to become less reliant on individual third-party data,’’ said Graham Mudd, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Marketing.‘’
‘’That’s why we’ve been investing in a multi-year effort to build a portfolio of privacy-enhancing technologies and collaborate with the industry on these and other standards that will support this next era.’’
Facebook wrote in a blog article that these technologies include On-device learning, Secure multi-party computation (MPC) and Differential privacy which will support the next generation of digital advertising.
The news comes months after Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework came into effect in April requiring developers to get user consent to allow ad tracking.
In February, sources familiar with the matter said that Google was in search of an alternative to the ATT framework too. Last month, the search engine giant announced that it’d start deleting advertising ID when a user opts out of ad personalization. The company also recently announced that it’ll block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18.
In fact, Facebook has been one of the most vocal companies against Apple’s ATT since last year when the iPhone-maker first announced the framework. The social media giant even ran ads in newspapers and launched a TV campaign claiming that the changes are anti-competitive and would hurt small businesses all around the world.
It also said the framework could hurt its own advertising business as well. Although the company reported a record-breaking ad revenue of over $28.5 billion for Q2 2021 despite ATT, CFO David Wehne said they still expect ‘increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, notably the recent iOS updates’.
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The company’s latest PETs announcement and plans to take stricter measures on user privacy have raised new questions about whether it now admits defeat.
Speaking to The Verge, a Facebook spokesperson rejected it saying: “We are advocating for a different and better approach to advancing privacy in advertising. One that is based on industry collaboration and a focus on supporting small businesses and an open internet economy. Apple’s approach is exactly the opposite: exerting its control over the App Store to benefit its own bottom line.”