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Oscar Williams

News editor

Apple plans to make it harder for Facebook to track users’ web browsing

Apple has outlined plans to make it harder for Facebook to track users browsing the web using the next iterations of iOS and MacOS.

Speaking at the Californian firm’s annual developer conference, software chief Craig Federighi said Apple would “shut down” Facebook’s ability to automatically track users.

“If you do want to interact with one of these [tools] or one of these apps tries to access that information, you’ll get this [warning message] and you can decide to keep your information private,” he said.

The message pops up at the top of a user’s browser when they visit a page with embedded Facebook tools and asks if they want to give the social network access to cookies and website data.

Facebook has come under fire in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal for the way it tracks users as they browse the web. The social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed a new tool at its developer conference last month that he claimed would give users as much control over their Facebook browsing history as web browsers do.

Announcing the tool, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post: “After going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have. It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for – and we will work with them to make sure we get it right.”

Zuckerberg did not specify when the tool would be rolled out, but Erin Egan – the company’s chief privacy officer – said it would take several months to build.