Images by Shutterstock, Bloomberg. Illustration by Mike Sullivan

Apple Should Win Its Intensifying Battle With Facebook

By  |  Dec. 24, 2020 6:00 AM PST
Photo: Images by Shutterstock, Bloomberg. Illustration by Mike Sullivan

Facebook says Apple will change the internet as we know it. Good!

The brewing battle over the soul of Silicon Valley has finally hit a breaking point. Apple, which sees individuals as its customers, is advancing iOS users’ privacy with the choice to opt in to ad tracking. Facebook, which sees individuals as its raw material, is fighting back, supposedly in the name of its small business customers. The two perspectives—product focused versus ad focused—have been challenging each other for some time. But Apple has now drawn a line in the sand, saying that user data is owned by the user, while Facebook is fighting to maintain its free access to that data so it can boost its sales to advertisers.

If nothing else, this battle should make every individual question whether they are underestimating the value of the data they give away with every click. It’s time for Facebook to prove the value of what it gives users in return for their data. It’s time to see what kind of innovation could result from restricting access to user data. It’s time to design artificial intelligence to help humans, not use humans to help the AI.

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