SHIRA OVIDE: How Apple just smashed Facebook with a wild curveball
'Apple is now essentially forcing people to repeatedly decide whether they will allow Facebook to track information on their web browser actions'
Apple's software-focused event on Monday was a momentous moment — for Facebook Inc. Toward the tail end of a more than two-hour Apple presentation to software developers, the company announced changes to its Safari web browsers that — assuming they remain unchanged and function as Apple sketched out — seem set to seriously hamper Facebook's contentious data-harvesting practices, and those of many other internet companies that count on following people as they roam around the web. Here's some context: Many websites (including Bloomberg Opinion) have small icons to let people easily share articles or other pieces of web information to social networks, including Facebook, or to "like" that piece of digital information.
Those website icons are also part of Facebook's massive data-harvesting system. When websites have those icons, they send information about people's web activity back to Facebook, which uses the information to fill out the personal digital dossiers they have on bi...