Facebook said on Monday that pop-up messages in its iPhone and iPad apps will educate users about the benefits of targeted advertising. The initiative is a response to Apple’s plans to introduce a new feature to limit user tracking.
The two tech giants are arguing over changes to Apple’s new iOS operating software, which will feature a feature to notify users when their activity is being tracked. Facebook claims this will restrict targeted advertising and could hurt many businesses.
A new feature in Apple’s software, referred to as the “privacy label,” includes an information box that tells people what data they collect from mobile apps and asks for permission to collect that data.
“To help people make more informed decisions, we are showing our information window alongside Apple’s window,” Facebook said in a posting. “This will provide additional information on how we use personalized ads that support small businesses and make apps free.”
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a covert accusation against Facebook, noting that certain algorithms are helping to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories. He did not mention the social network directly, but criticized the business models built on targeted advertising, which is Facebook’s main source of income.
Facebook is reportedly preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple over control of the App Store.
“As we have stated on numerous occasions, we believe that Apple is behaving in an anticompetitive manner, using control over the App Store to generate profits at the expense of app developers and small businesses,” a Facebook spokesman said, declining to confirm or deny reports of the pending lawsuit.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a recent teleconference that Apple is becoming one of his company’s main competitors.
“Apple has every reason to use its dominant position on the platform to interfere with our and other third-party applications, which they regularly do to promote their own,” Zuckerberg said. “Apple says it’s done to help people, but it’s obviously in the best interest of the company.”