While Facebook has been fighting the growing fire at its front door, its boffins have been busy getting its house in order.
If you have missed the news over the past few weeks, data firm Cambridge Analytica is accused of using, without permission, the personal details of more than 50 million Facebook users to target US voters with political adverts.
Facebook has responded to this lapse in data protocol by changing its privacy controls and reviewing its relationship with third-party suppliers, including freezing app approvals and analysing each and every approved app.
It has also been announced that the social media giant is to remove the option to use third-party data within Facebook ads. The official statement read: “We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”
In the UK, Facebook imports data from Acxiom, Experian and Oracle Data Cloud into its advertising software to enhance customer targeting. Experts have been scratching their heads to try and work out how this will impact the success of Facebook ads, but most commentators reckon that with two billion users, Facebook has more than enough data to offer accurate targeting.
Cynics might suggest that Facebook is merely interested in trying to save its own reputation by removing third-party data from its system. More scandals and criticism will only do more damage to the company and its share price.
There is, however, still the option for advertisers to use external data providers to create their own audience profiles which they can then upload to Facebook. Crucially this means that the responsibility lies with the advertiser to check this data, not Facebook.
If you combine this with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the responsibility for managing data is shifting firmly into the court of individual companies.
Member since: 11th March 2014
My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...