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New IOS 14.5: Hurts Small Businesses

Apple has announced the new IOS 14.5 update earlier this week. This new update includes a lot of new changes, including new emoji, accident reporting on Apple Maps, and mask-friendly face identification. Most exciting is the changes in consumer privacy. The update includes the new Apple Tracking Transparency, which allows users to control if they want to allow apps to track and pass information for advertising purposes. A prompt will appear for each app and you can choose to allow to decline your information being tracked. With a simple Apple prompt, you can finally have more control over who has your information. 


While this is a great advancement for privacy purposes, large companies have some issues with it. Facebook has jumped on Apple with a statement published in the New York Times and several other news feeds disagreeing with Apple’s new update. One post states that “without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar.” Companies like Facebook and Instagram use advertisements as a large source of revenue, but the smaller companies being advertised will lose major exposure, causing a loss in money to maintain their work. This may appear as a scheme to guilt trip Apple, but Facebook vice president of advertising Dan Levy claims to have the best intentions for the statement. The exposure loss widens the gap between big and small businesses by allowing people to essentially block most ads. Larger companies have the funds to continue advertising while small shops will simply not be able to catch up with the competition.


With all this in mind, it is ultimately up to the consumer to decide whether or not to allow app tracking on their phones. The consequences may improve consumer happiness or hurt small businesses, or both. We can only see what will happen once the IOS 14.5 update is publicly released.


I am a freshman at Kennesaw State University, where I'm double majoring in journalism and Spanish. I play tennis and love getting involved in the community. Some of my passions include writing, service, graphic design, and reading any book I find. I can't wait to strengthen my writing skills and give y'all even more great articles to read!
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