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Apple will attempt to frustrate tools used by Facebook to automatically track web users.

Apple will attempt to frustrate tools used by Facebook to automatically track web users

Apple will attempt to frustrate tools used by Facebook to automatically track web users, within the next version of its iOS and Mac operating systems.

"We're shutting that down," declared Apple 's software chief Craig Federighi, at the firm's developers conference.

He added that the web browser Safari would ask owners' permission before allowing the social network to monitor their activity.

The move is likely to add to tensions between the two companies.

Apple 's chief executive Tim Cook had previously described Facebook's practices as being an "invasion of privacy" - an opinion Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg subsequently denounced as being "glib".

At the WWDC conference - where Apple outlines its software plans for the months ahead - Mr Federighi said that Facebook keeps watch over people in ways they might not be aware of.

"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."

He then pointed to an onscreen alert that asked: "Do you want to allow Facebook.com to use cookies and available data while browsing.

Apple also said that MacOS Mojave would combat a technique called "fingerprinting", in which advertisers try to track users who delete their cookies.

The method involves identifying computers by the fonts and plug-ins installed among other configuration details.

To counter this, Apple will present web pages with less detail 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," Mr Federighi explained.