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Facebook and Instagram warn to stop being free if you do not agree to be tracked in iOS 14.5

Facebook and instagram have updated their tracking alert in Spanish after starting to see a warning in the English versions: as soon as they update the applications in iOS 14.5, both send the request that the users be tracked. Facebook and Instagram could abandon gratuitousness.

Turning on a smartphone, and letting it connect to the Internet, opens a highway between the phone and the servers of hundreds of companies through which the data we generate with use travels. That flow is a huge value for companies like Facebook because it allows them to target advertising with precision to minimize advertising risk (increases ‘conversion’, when a person buys after seeing an ad). And Apple already made it clear that it was going to toll the data Highway. We’re already seeing the consequences.

Facebook’s second point about keeping its platform free of charge is in opposition to the company’s previous slogan of “It’s free and always will be” – a line that once appeared on its login page, but was removed in August 2019, as Business Insider has noted.

Instagram and Facebook to’ continue using Instagram and Facebook without charges ‘ you must agree to be tracked

iOS 14 already allowed you to avoid tracking apps with a specific setting within the privacy section: ‘allow apps to request tracking’. Turning off such a setting the installed software would not have permission to remove usage data from the phone( developers must comply with this rule under threat of expulsion from the App Store); a setting that keeps working in the latest update to iOS 14.5. What’s new is that apps are required to notify the user that they are going to track you if the user has checked ‘allow apps to request track you’.

Facebook was one of the first companies to attack Apple as soon as it became known that iOS would restrict the collection of personal data. Apple did not shy away from its intentions, even putting Facebook as an example in the tracking notices of iOS 14. Of course, Zuckerberg’s had to fight back, although they probably did not choose the best strategy.

With Instagram Facebook update, which has expanded today May 5 to most territories, both applications show a warning as soon as they start. This notice asks the user to agree to be tracked. Instagram and Facebook use the message to motivate the acceptance of the permission: ‘continue using Instagram and Facebook without charges’. Or what is the same: if users do not allow themselves to track all the services they have always used without cost, they would be charged.

Whether tracking is accepted or not does not imply changes in the applications as they will continue to show ads the same. The only thing is that such ads will not be so close to the person since, in theory, Facebook will not have stored the user’s tastes because it could not track it. In addition, surely Facebook does not raise charges: asking for money to access their social networks would be almost a business suicide.

Now that iOS 14.5 has been released to the public, we will take a closer look at how different companies are implementing the new privacy requirements for App Tracking Transparency. Perhaps most notable is that the verge contains details of the pop-up message that Facebook and Instagram use to encourage users to choose the “Allow” option when prompted to follow up.

Facebook has been a vocal opponent of App Tracking Transparency, a new feature in iOS 14.5 that requires developers to get users ‘ permission before they can track them across other apps and websites. Despite Facebook’s objection, however, the company has no choice but to comply with the requirements, as iOS 14.5 is publicly available.

In the pop-up message, Facebook explains that developers in iOS 14.5 “need to ask permission to track some data from this device to improve their ads”. The message describes three ways in which users can benefit from this type of data collection:

Help keep Instagram / Facebook free

Support companies that rely on ads to reach their customers
Facebook refers to these pop-ups as “educational screens”. They are displayed to users immediately before the “iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency” prompt. The second point is particularly interesting because there is no evidence that Facebook wants to offer paid versions of its applications.

In order to help people make a more informed decision, we also show their own screen in addition to Apple’s. It provides more information about how we use personalized ads that support small businesses and keep apps free. If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see in these apps will not change. If you decline, ads will continue to appear that are less relevant to you. Agreeing to these prompts does not cause Facebook to collect new data types. It just means that we can continue to give people better experiences.

In addition, it should be noted that offering users incentives to enable tracking violates Apple’s user interface policies. Facebook offers no incentive, but an explanation why it collects the collected data.

Do not offer incentives for granting the request. You cannot offer compensation to people for granting your permission, and you cannot withhold features or content or render your app unusable until people allow you to track them.

According to Facebook, the prompts will be introduced to Instagram and Facebook applications in the coming days and weeks, so you may not see them right away.

You can learn more about App Tracking Transparency in our detailed guide right here. Have you seen the new iOS 14.5 prompt in Facebook or Instagram? Let us know down in the comments!

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