November 30, 2021

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"Google and Facebook colluded to undermine the privacy of Apple users" |  iHLN

“Google and Facebook colluded to undermine the privacy of Apple users” | iHLN

Google and Facebook have teamed up to undermine better privacy for Apple users. That’s what twelve US attorneys general claimed in an antitrust case against the search engine, which Business Insider reported.




“The companies worked together to facilitate the identification of individuals using cookie-blocking browsers, Apple devices, or Apple’s Safari browser,” the amended indictment reads. “In doing so, they have evaded attempts by a major tech company to give their users more privacy and thus be competitive.” The main technology company referred to is Apple.

The case actually began in December 2020. Then prosecutors in a dozen states accused Google of forming a cartel. This case mainly relied on allegations that Facebook and Google had pledged complicity if their cooperation agreement came into view of the regulator.

But now lawyers are also accusing Facebook and Google of striking an illegal advertising deal: Google will use its dominant position in the ad market to help Facebook bid in ad auctions. As a result, Facebook will outperform competitors and content from the platform will appear more easily on Google’s ad spaces.

Archive the image. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is to testify at a hearing in Washington. (10/04/2018) © AP

deny facebook

However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company denies the allegations. “Facebook supports fair and transparent auctions where the highest bidder wins.” According to Facebook, the partnership with Google has already increased competition in ad auctions.

The indictment contradicts that. Facebook employees already complained in 2019 that it was difficult to identify Safari users. Then, Google offered to help Facebook through the use of Javascript (a widely used programming language, editor).

Lawyers claim that Zuckerberg would have deceived Google, but the company behind the most popular search engine denies all the allegations.


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The three companies have been the target of antitrust cases in the United States, where they have come under fire from the government and from each other.

Apple is trying to better protect privacy users

Facebook’s “complaints” arose because of Apple’s privacy strategy. The company wants to better protect its users in order to gain a competitive advantage. This makes it more difficult for advertisers and other technology companies to engage users with specific ads. This, in turn, has a huge impact on the revenue model of a company like Facebook.

In 2018, the Safari browser is equipped with better protection. Since then, websites have had to explicitly ask users for permission to track their browsing behaviour. Also, “cookies” (small files that help websites identify a specific user, editor) must henceforth be deleted after 30 days, unless the user returns to the site within that period.

Since this summer, users of Apple products can also indicate to each app how much they want to share data with a particular app maker. In addition, Safari now provides a privacy report for users, which shows precisely how websites track a user.

dominant center of power

This does not mean that Apple is completely free. All three companies are at the center of many antitrust cases in the United States, where they come under fire from the government and from each other: Congress passed five new laws in June that would make the Big Four (Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon) more closely controlled. Best and trying to prevent it from gaining a dominant position of power. Tech giants are also under fire in Europe.

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