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Facebook working on new iOS notification to provide 'context' about Apple's privacy changes

In a blog post, Facebook calls out Apple's approach as providing "no context about the benefits of personalized ads."

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Facebook's privacy notification, left, will appear alongside Apple's on iOS. 

Facebook

The beef between Apple and Facebook is continuing over Apple's upcoming changes to iOS privacy settings, with Facebook adding the most recent chapter in the ongoing public battle. 

In an update to its December "speaking up for small businesses" blog post, the social networking giant said on Monday that it will be showing a notification screen of its own alongside Apple's to "provide more information about how we use personalized ads." The company criticized Apple's prompt, which it says "provides no context about the benefits of personalized ads." 

Apple will begin rolling out the new privacy settings in "early spring" as part of its next iOS 14 update. Once it's rolled out, apps will be required to ask for user permission before tracking data and activity across apps, websites and platforms. 

The updated blog post notes that "if you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won't change," adding that even if the prompts are declined "you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you." Facebook says it will not be collecting any "new types of data" and that it uses the information it learns about its users to "continue to give people better experiences." 

Facebook's prompt will appear alongside Apple's so users can see those additional details. "We feel that people deserve the additional context," the post continues, noting that "Apple has said that providing education is allowed."

Monday's update is the latest in a growing feud between the two technology titans. In an appearance on a virtual International Privacy Day panel on Jan. 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook took several apparent jabs at Facebook over its history of handling user data and privacy. 

"If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform," Cook said in one reference. "A social dilemma cannot be allowed to become a social catastrophe."

The Apple CEO previously called out Facebook by name in a Dec. 17 tweet about the new privacy policy. 

In a response last week to Cook's most recent comments, a Facebook spokesperson reiterated its stance, saying that it believes Apple is "behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses."