Facebook is trying to pre-empt Apple's big privacy update by asking users for permission to track them

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Facebook is trying to pre-empt Apple's big privacy update by asking users for permission to track them
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Facebook will begin asking users for permission to track their data so it can target them with ads.
  • The move comes as Apple prepares to roll out a privacy update that will force developers to ask users' permission to track them.
  • Apple and Facebook have been fighting about the upcoming iOS privacy update.
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Facebook is trying to outflank Apple in a privacy battle that's been raging for six months.

Facebook announced on Monday it would be sending a pop-up notification to iOS users, asking for permission to track their activity so they can be targeted with ads.

The pop-up tells users that allowing trackers will mean they "get ads that are more personalized" and "support business that rely on ads to reach customers."

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Facebook is trying to pre-empt Apple's big privacy update by asking users for permission to track them
The pop-up will look like this.Facebook

Facebook is only testing the pop-up on a few users for now, but eventually it will arrive for all iOS users ahead of an update Apple said it would roll out in early Spring.

The Apple update will force app developers to ask users' permission to be able to collect their data for targeted advertising. Apple has not confirmed a date, but Insider previously reported it is aiming for March.

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Read more: Apple reported a record $111.4 billion in revenue. From $14.8 million to $26.3 million, here's how the firm paid its executives in 2020.

The update was announced in the summer, and originally slated for September 2020, but Apple postponed the rollout after Facebook protested and said the update would gut developers' advertising revenue.

Apple and Facebook have publicly feuded about the update, with Facebook claiming Apple is setting itself up to get into the advertising industry, while Apple argues Facebook doesn't respect its users' privacy.

The rivalry has heated up again over the past week. In an earnings call, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed Apple is becoming one of Facebook's "biggest competitors," and accused it of using privacy as a front for squeezing out competition.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook retorted with a thinly-veiled criticism of Facebook during a speech at a data-privacy conference the following day.

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The Information also reported that Facebook is preparing to file an antitrust case against Apple.

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