Facebook sends out alert begging iPhone users to agree to creepy ad-tracking after Apple privacy update

FACEBOOK is begging iPhone users to opt into its controversial ad-tracking ahead of a privacy move by Apple that could curb the practice.

The pop-ups on the US firm's iPhone and iPad apps will tout benefits of its penchant for hoovering up user data to target personalised ads to them.

In a blog post on Monday, Facebook took a further swipe at privacy protections being introduced by Apple with its latest software update.

The upgrade to the iOS operating system asks users whether they want to allow apps like Facebook to track their activity.

It incudes a new prompt telling people what data is gathered by smartphone apps and asking for permission to allow it.

"To help people make a more informed decision, we're also showing a screen of our own, along with Apple's," Facebook said.

"It will provide more information about how we use personalised ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free."

The full-screen prompt will ask Facebook and Instagram users to allow their app and website activity to be used for ads.

Facebook will highlight that the feature helps to "support businesses that rely on ads to reach customers."

The social media giant has been waging a public fight against Apple's plan to ask iPhone users whether to allow apps to track them.

It warned this month that Apple's notification "suggests there is a tradeoff between personalised advertising and privacy".

Apple said its pop-up privacy notifications will start appearing on most iPhones in the next few months.

Previously, iPhone users had to dig into their settings to opt out of app tracking. Following the update, Apple devices will reject tracking by default.

Developers forecast that as little as 10 to 13 per cent of Facebook users will opt-in to tracking if given the choice.

The feud between the Silicon Valley giants boiled over last week as Apple's CEO implied that Facebook encourages disinformation and violence.

Tim Cook appeared to take aim at the company when he blasted "disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms" during a virtual data privacy conference in Brussels.

The social network is reportedly preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple over its control of the App Store.

"As we have said repeatedly, we believe 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," Facebook told AFP.

Why does it feel like Facebook is snooping on you?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • The magic of targeted advertising is that it should feel relevant to you – even if you can't figure out why.
  • Facebook doesn't need to spy on your real-life conversations, because you hand over so much information anyway.
  • Follow this link and you'll be able to download everything Facebook knows about you. Most of you will quickly realise it's a staggering amount of information.
  • Advertisers can use information gleaned from your activity all across the web, on multiple devices, even if you're not logged into Facebook or other services.
  • They'll likely know where you live, what you like, who your friends are, how much money you make, your political beliefs and much more.
  • So when you get ads for something you've talked about out loud, it's almost certainly just advertisers being very good at predicting your interests.
  • It's also possible that there's an advertising campaign running, and you've seen an ad and not noticed. You've then spoken about it, never realising you've been advertised to, and only then notice future ads – which suddenly seem suspicious.
  • Let's say you talked about a holiday to Scotland, and then all of a sudden you're being advertised holidays to Scotland.
  • You may never have searched for anything to do with that before.
  • But Facebook could use info about your level of wealth, your past holiday interests, the time of year (ads for wintry Scottish retreats are common in the colder months), and your location.
  • What seems like snooping is actually just clever advertising.

In other news, WhatsApp delayed a controversial privacy update due this month after millions of users responded by abandoning the app.

Apple recently exposed all of the creepy ways that the Facebook app tracks you online.

And, if you have a Samsung Smart TV you can now watch 1,000 new movies thanks to streaming service Filmzie.

What are your thoughts on the new Facebook alerts? Let us know in the comments!

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