As expected, companies that operate via apps have been unhappy about the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) functionality Apple Inc. recently added to the iOS operating system that powers iPhones and other Apple mobile devices.

The move initially spurred fellow tech giant Facebook Inc. into combat mode. Facebook characterized ATT as bad for small businesses that rely on personalized advertising to reach consumers. It made its point via blog posts, media comments and full-page newspaper ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other publications.

Facebook was upset because ATT requires app publishers to get permission before tracking user data via code called from Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). IDFA tells advertisers when users click on ads, download their apps, or take other kinds of actions. Apple ties IDFA data to devices but does not release personally identifiable information.

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