in a preview an interview with The New York Times‘Kara Swisher, to be released on Monday, April 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is “shocked” by the criticism Apple has received in recent months about upcoming privacy changes to iOS, and stated that they are “difficult to discuss”. “
Apple plans to start enforcing App Tracking Transparency (ATT) changes after the release of iOS 14.5, which means that all apps that access an iPhone’s ad identifier, or IDFA, will need to request permission from an iPhone. user before tracking is allowed.
The move has drawn criticism from some companies, notably Facebook, which argues that the new changes will affect small businesses.
Facebook says that small businesses rely on tracking to provide personalized ads and that with ATT, those ads will be less effective. However, when asked in the interview how ATT will affect Facebook, Cook said he “does not focus on Facebook” and does not know.
Swisher asked, “What is your response to Facebook’s response, which is quite vehement, essentially calling it an existential crisis for your business?” Cook replied, “All we’re doing, Kara, is giving the user the option to be tracked or not. And I think it’s hard to argue against that. I’ve been surprised that there have been setbacks on this to this degree.”
Facebook initially went to great lengths against ATT; however, the company has recently changed its tune. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg now claims that it’s possible the new change could benefit Facebook by giving it an edge in the online commerce space.
We may even be in a stronger position if Apple’s changes encourage more companies to do more business on our platforms by making it more difficult for them to use your data to find customers who want to use their products outside of our platforms.
Cook’s latest comments are just a snippet from the full interview due out Monday in which the CEO discusses Parler’s removal from the App Store, the power of Big Tech, and what it’s like to be called “Tim Apple.”