By: Steve Dellar | 06-05-2018 | News
Photo credit: Bigtunaonline |

Apple Blocks Facebook Data Trackers

Apple knows that, for the moment, it can still claim the moral high ground when it comes to protecting user data, so when yesterday it was reported that Facebook had made a deal with multiple phone and other device manufacturers to collect vast amounts of users personal data (including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Samsung), it was quick to squash those rumours during its annual worldwide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Safari blocking web trackers used by Facebook and Google is the perfect example of why Apple is the wealthiest company in the world. And why software companies like FB are building more of their own hardware.<br><br>When you own the underlying platforms, you have all the leverage.</p>&mdash; Alex Heath (@alexeheath) <a href="">June 4, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Given that there is now, because of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, an obvious emphasis on anything related to privacy, Apple claimed it would be introducing a new feature in its Safari browser that pre-emptively will block tracking sites like Facebook’s Like and Comment feature and asks you to allow it to appear when you’re browsing a website.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Apple lays roadblock against Facebook&#39;s web trackers: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; PCMag (@PCMag) <a href="">June 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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For websites like Google and Facebook, who rely on this data for their algorithm to be able to understand what you ‘want’, this is a game changer, as most in the industry agree that Apple is still the trend setter, meaning that other phone manufacturers are likely to follow suit.

Related coverage:

When asked about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and Facebook’s role in it, Apple's chief executive Mr Tim Cook had previously described Mr Zuckerberg’s practices as being an "invasion of privacy.”

This latest move is likely to add to tensions between the two companies.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Blocking the trackers: “Apple just took a shot at Facebook’s web-tracking empire.” tx <a href="">@russellbrandom</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#surveillancecapitalism</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Steffan Heuer (@sheuer) <a href="">June 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Apple's software chief Mr Craig Federighi, at the firm's developers conference, spoke of the data tracking tools that both Facebook and Google use. He said: "We've all seen these, these like buttons, and share buttons and these comment fields.

"Well, it turns out these can be used to track you, whether you click on them or not. We're shutting that down."


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