Just a few months ago, Apple presented itself as a vanguard of user privacy. That is an easy call when you deal with proprietary software packaged in an exclusive hardware with no advertisement. If that is the case, you certainly do not need to mine users’ data. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, explained that Apple would not sell your data, throwing it to Facebook and Google which need users’ data in their business models. Google tried to explain that using users’ data to subsidize services, or make them free, unlike fashionista pricing, legendary in Apple, was fair game.
But Apple did not care, attacking Facebook and Google on their business models. But things seem to be changing – welcome to a new world. Yes, Facebook is playing a stunt game, telling the iOS world that Apple is taking a 30% cut on all in-app purchases, thereby reducing their take-home pays. Without warning, Apple banned the update.
Facebook Inc on Thursday told Reuters that Apple Inc rejected its attempt to tell users the iPhone maker would take a 30% cut of sales in a new online events feature, forcing Facebook to remove the message to get the tool to users.
Facebook said that Apple cited an App Store rule that bars developers from showing “irrelevant” information to users.
“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes. Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience,” Facebook said in a statement.
Largely, Facebook is intentionally piling pressure on Apple, sustaining the Epic Games’ battle to see Apple drop its 30% tax on in-app purchases. Facebook has a message to Apple: do not think because you do not run ads, and accordingly will not need user data the way we do, that you do not have your own problems. Yes, if Apple waives its 30% (which will be an own-goal, as in African football), all products on Apple Store, possibly, will see reduced costs.
Left and right: nothing is perfect. It is simply a question of season and time. Apple is learning one thing: even asking people to pay, without the option of giving their data for freebies, may not be perfect.