Facebook Provides Misleading Information to the Users in Its Fight Against Apple’s New Data Policy

Recently Facebook and Apple had an argument over Apple’s new data policy. With Facebook claiming that Apple’s new privacy feature of users being able to allow or deny their data being shared on the apps will affect the small businesses, but not really being able to win the argument as Apple said if Facebook does not follow the given instructions it will ban the Facebook app as well as its associated apps from the App Store. So Facebook opted for another option and introduced a pop message along with Apple’s pop up notification of user consent for sharing data. Facebook’s pop up message gave reasons why people should accept their data sharing and how it will benefit the small businesses.

However, two academic marketing professionals after thoroughly examining the data wrote in the Harvard Business Review said that the numbers stated by Facebook look questionable and overly stated. It accused Facebook for using untrue and misleading information to convince users to accept their data sharing request.

According to the report, Facebook claimed in its pop up notification that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar which seems a little off. Bart de Langhe, associate professor of marketing at Barcelona's Ramon Llull University and Stefano Puntoni, professor marketing at Erasmus University, Rotterdam said that Facebook did not mention in what terms they showed the comparison. For all we know sales cut off can vary in terms of different companies, industry, products and even countries. Also the sale rate is also dependent on how well the companies knows its customers. Companies who knew their customers well achieve a better return on advertisement spend than companies that did not.

The second thing that really looked suspicious to the writers of the report was Facebook claiming that according to the Deloitte report, forty-four percent of small to medium businesses started or increased their usage of personalized ads on social media during the pandemic. They looked into the Deloitte report and found out that Facebook again had incorrectly put in the data here. On reading the Deloitte report, the writers found that Deloitte reporters had inquired nine industries on whether they increased their personalized or targeted ads during the lockdown and found that the industry with the largest ad sale was Telecom and Technology but they had an increase in sale rate of only 34 percent.

The marketing experts said that they are not denying the fact that Apple’s new data policy will affect small businesses associated with Facebook, but what Facebook did with providing misleading information to its users just to get people to accept their data policy is also wrong.

Facebook has still not commented on the matter.


Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / REUTERS

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