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Photo: Facebook

Facebook is testing a notification that notifies Apple iOS users about ways the tech giant uses their data to target personalized ads to them.

The big picture: The test is happening in light of upcoming changes to Apple's privacy settings that will make it harder for Facebook and others to collect data on Apple users for ad targeting.

Catch up quick: Facebook warned investors last week that changes to Apple's "Identifier for Advertisers" (IDFA) user tracking feature will likely impact its business.

  • The feature asks Apple iOS users to opt-in to having their data collected, instead of asking them to opt-out. Developers forecast that only around 10-30% of users will actually opt-in to having their data collected, making it much harder for advertisers to target potential Apple customers without as much access to their data.
  • Despite an earnings beat, Facebook's stock has been down due to investor fears that the Apple changes could significantly impact its business moving forward.

Details: In an updated blog post, Facebook says it will be showing their prompt "to ensure stability for the businesses and people who use our services."

  • The prompt, which provides information about how Facebook uses personalized ads, will be shown to users globally on Facebook and Instagram.
  • In the post, Facebook says that if users accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change. "If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you."
  • The tech giant notes that Apple has said that providing education about its new privacy changes is allowed. 

Between the lines: As Axios has previously noted, Apple's newest software updates ask users whether they want to allow apps like Facebook to track their activity.

  • Facebook has long asserted that these changes will make it harder for small business to place targeted ads. In the updated blog post, Facebook doubles down on that argument saying, "Apple’s new prompt suggests there is a tradeoff between personalized advertising and privacy; when in fact, we can and do provide both."

Our thought bubble: Usually consumers are left out of these types of corporate battles over policy changes. By prompting users, Facebook is exposing its billions of users more directly to its very messy public battle with Apple over these privacy changes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.

AT&T in talks with Discovery to combine media assets

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T is in talks with media giant Discovery about merging its media assets, like CNN, TBS and TNT, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: A potential merger could allow AT&T and Discovery to better compete with entertainment giants like Disney and Netflix in the video streaming wars.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Franklin Graham worries Trump too old to run in 2024

Graham and Trump at a rally in 2017. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would "be a very tough thing to do," the prominent Christian leader told "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, was among Trump's earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders.