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Apple blocks Facebook’s web-tracking tools

In the next iterations of iOS and MacOS, Apple will attempt to frustrate tools used by Facebook to automatically track web users such as ‘like’ buttons.

“We’re shutting that down,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s software chief, at WWDC. Web browser Safari will ask for permission before allowing the social network to monitor their activity.

Federighi said that Facebook keeps tabs on people in a number of ways that are not obvious to consumers. “We’ve all seen these – these like buttons, and share buttons and these comment fields. Well it turns out these can be used to track you, whether you click on them or not.”

With the application of the new function, which allows users to choose using cookies and available data while browsing or not, Federighi said, “You can decide to keep your information private.”

Apple also said that MacOS Mojave would try to resist “fingerprinting”, which advertisers use to try to track users who delete their cookies.

To counter this, Apple will present web pages with less details about the computer. “As a result your Mac will look more like everyone else’s Mac, and it will be dramatically more difficult for data companies to uniquely identify your device,” Federighi explained.

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