Facebook for iOS 14.5 users: That’s why we track apps

Last week, Facebook updated one blog posts written by Dan Levy, head of advertising and corporate products, which concerns Apple’s new app tracking transparency in iOS 14.5 and later.

Facebook had previously said that the various iOS apps would not even try to ask permission to track you outside the app, but regretted it earlier this year and has now released updates of Facebook and Instagram that are adapted to the new rules.

Before the apps try to ask for permission to track you – something they can only do if you have enabled that feature in Settings -> Privacy -> Tracking – they show an information box that briefly explains why Facebook thinks you should allow tracking.

Facebook lists three alleged benefits of enabling tracking:

  • Advertising becomes more personal.
  • You help Facebook / Instagram continue to be free.
  • You support companies that rely on advertising to reach customers.

Facebook has long said that the service will always be free, but The Verge points out that the old slogan “free forever” was removed in 2019 and that Mark Zuckerberg in a hearing in the US Congress said that “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free”. Of course, that leaves an opening for a paid version.

App developers must ask permission from users to be able to track them outside of their own apps, for example to see which products you have searched for and be able to display advertisements for similar things, but may use other user information to target advertisements.