Facebook is continuing its campaign against Apple’s iOS 14 privacy updates, adding a notice within its iOS app telling users the information it collects from other apps and websites can “help keep Facebook free of charge.” A similar message was seen on Instagram’s iOS app (Facebook is Instagram’s parent company).
There’s a lot of unpack in those screenshots, starting with “iOS requires us to ask for permission” — trust us, we wouldn’t be asking voluntarily! — and the “track some data” statement, where that “some” is doing a lot of work because, as Facebook’s Privacy Label shows, they track everything.
But the real kicker is the idea that by asking Facebook to respect your privacy and not steal your data, that you’ll have to start paying to use Facebook and Instagram.
But the “keep Facebook/Instagram free” tactic seems to run counter to Facebook’s long-standing tagline which indicated the company was “free and always will be.” Of course, Facebook quietly removed that slogan from its homepage in 2019, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t rule out a paid version of Facebook when he testified before Congress in 2018. “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” he said.
“Free and always will be except when it’s convenient for us to threaten you into allowing us to siphon every bit from your phone” just isn’t the catchy kind of slogan that fits well under a logo, I guess.
Oh, right, and Facebook is still going to track you, of course.