The Spin Is In: Zuckerberg Now Says Apple's iOS Privacy Changes Could Help Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is not a fan of Apple's upcoming privacy changes headed to iOS 14, which will give users more granular control over what personally identifiable information apps can collect and use. Er, correction—he was not a fan of them, but now apparently thinks they could put the largest social network on the planet in an even "stronger position." What changed?

Nothing, really, other than his outlook, or at least what he is portraying as his outlook on the situation. If we back up several weeks, Zuckerberg tried to get out in front of Apple's privacy change by pinging Facebook users with pop-up messages saying the ability to track their activity will "provide a better experience," and that it would only collect data it previously accessed.

Zuckerberg also threw some shade on Apple's business practices during a recent earnings call, where he noted Apple was becoming one of the social network's biggest competitors.

"We are also seeing Apple's business depend more and more on gaining share in apps and services against us and other developers. So, Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own," Zuckerberg said.

Apple did not take the comments lightly, with Tim Cook throwing veiled jabs at Facebook, noting "we lose the freedom to be human" when "everything in our lives can be aggregated and sold." He made the comments without naming Facebook specifically.

In any event, that was then (several weeks ago) and this is now, and Zuckerberg's tune has changed. He told CNBC today that Facebook will be "in a good position" when the privacy changes roll out sometime this spring. Outwardly, he is no longer concerned that when iOS devices begin notifying users about device ID tracking and whether or not they want to allow it, that it could negatively impact Facebok's ad revenue.

Heck, it might even help Facebook.

"It’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple’s changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our platforms by making it harder for them to use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms," Zuckerberg said.

Perhaps those pop-up messages were pretty darn effective. In addition, Facebook also opened up Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops last year so that businesses can sell goods directly from within Facebook and Instagram. According to Zuckerberg, there are now 1 million active shops, and 250 million actively use them.

The spin is official in.

Top Image Source: Robert Scoble (via Flickr)