Apple Privacy Changes: A response to Ad-based social media platforms

I have been following this news progress since first learning of Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO) publicly criticized social media platforms (though thinly veiled referenced to Facebook Inc. in particular) over online privacy concerns. This week, we discussed advertising regulation and how digital media has escaped the stringent advertising regulations that traditional media has been required to comply with. ¬†January 28 2021 was Data Privacy Day, an international event lamented to bring awareness on the use, collection and sharing of the public’s personal information. The event attempts to encourage dialogue and empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. Tim Cook was one of the virtual speakers. He stated that “A social dilemma cannot be allowed to become a social catastrophe.” This is in reference to the use of algorithms to manipulate social media users to look at advertisements, generating revenues for these social media platforms.

Facebook has released that they will begin rolling out notifications to iPhone users on how their data is being used for personalized ads to get ahead of Apple’s privacy changes but has stated how Apple’s decision will hurt its advertising business. Facebook Inc. stated that they intend to inform their users to encourage their consent to personalized ads as it helps support businesses that rely on ads to reach customers. I personally am very careful in using social media platforms, knowing that I do not have any control over how they use my data, despite my efforts to “turn off” personalized ads settings”. I believe that consumers are at a greater disadvantage as they now need to make a decision between privacy or be engaged. Apple’s privacy changes in requiring social media platforms to acquire its user’s express consent to the use of their data & receive personalized ads is a great first step to changing how we interact with new media, what we choose to share/not share in the public domain, and stifling misinformation based on our perceived preferences

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