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Former Facebook employees explain the consequences after implementing App Tracking Transparency

The App Tracking Transparency feature will launch “in early spring.”

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Facebook has continuously been criticizing Apple’s privacy updates recently. In light of this, CNBC spoke with some former Facebook employees about how the iOS 14 privacy features will affect the company after Apple implements it.

The former employees explain how the company uses “view-through conversions” to measure users who saw an ad and didn’t immediately interact with it but later made a related purchase.

Think of view-through conversions like this: You’re tapping through your Instagram stories and you see an ad for a pair of jeans. You don’t tap the bottom of the ad for more information because you’re busy checking out what your friends are up to, but the jeans were cute. A few days later, you go on Google, search for the jeans you saw on Instagram, and buy them.

After making the purchase, the retailer records the Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) of the user who interacted with the ad and gives the information to Facebook and advertisers. This also helps them to determine to whom the ad should be shown.

CNBC spoke with former Facebook employees on how the change affects small businesses to which they replied, “yes, small businesses will be affected. However, for many small businesses, the change may not be noticeable at all.”

For the past few months, Facebook has been running an ad campaign claiming targeted ads help people run small businesses. The Menlo Park company attacked Apple with full-page newspaper ads over ad-tracking, launched a PR campaign promoting personalized advertising, and even accused Apple of its anti-competitive behavior.

With the upcoming iOS 14.5 update, apps that would want to use IDFA need to ask users whether to allow App tracking or not. If the user opt-out, then it will make these ads a lot less effective. Apple says it will help users “better understand how third-party companies track their information across apps and websites.” The App Tracking Transparency feature will launch “in early spring.”

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