Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer said Tuesday that the economic models that rely on personalized advertising are “under assault” as Apple readies a change that would limit the ability of Facebook and other companies to target ads and estimate how well they work.
The change to Apple’s identifier for advertisers, or IDFA, will give iPhone users the option to block tracking when opening an app. It was originally planned for iOS 14, the version of the iPhone operating system that was released last month. But Apple said last month it was delaying the rollout until 2021 “to give developers time to make necessary changes.”
Fischer, speaking at a virtual Advertising Week session Tuesday, spoke about the changes after being asked about Facebook’s vulnerability to the companies that control mobile platforms, such as Apple and Google, which runs Android.
Fischer argued that though there’s “angst and concern” about the risks of technology, personalized and targeted advertising has been essential to help the internet grow.
“The economic model that not just we at Facebook but so many businesses rely on, this model is worth preserving, one that makes content freely available, and the business that makes it run and hum, is via advertising,” he said.
“And right now, frankly, some of that is under assault, that the very tools that entrepreneurs, that businesses are relying on right now are being threatened. To me, the changes that Apple has proposed, pretty sweeping changes, are going to hurt developers and businesses the most.”
Apple frames the change as preserving users’ privacy, rather than as an attack on the advertising industry, and has been promoting its privacy features as a core reason to get an iPhone. It comes as consumers are increasingly wary about their online privacy following scandals with various companies, including Facebook.