29 Apr FACEBOOK PRIVACY SCANDAL & HOW IT HAS AFFECTED ADS
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”
– Mark Zuckerberg
Due to this ‘data breach’, there has been a few important changes to Facebook ads. Below we have discussed each change in more detail.
New chatbots have been disabled
Customer Audience numbers have been disabled
Facebook announced they will stop showing audience reach estimates for Custom Audiences after a vulnerability was found.
Custom Audience estimates contain a rounding threshold. A research team from Northeastern University found that once advertisers identified this threshold, they could upload a list of emails right to this point. By adding one email to the list, if the estimate changes when a targeting attribute is selected, the advertiser can conclude that person has that attribute, or vice versa if it does not change. Due to this vulnerability, Facebook has disabled the Customer Audience reach estimate to protect its users.
Facebook is also launching a certification tool that demands that marketers guarantee email addresses used for ad targeting were rightfully attained. This new Custom Audiences certification tool was described by Facebook representatives to their marketing clients, according to two sources. Facebook will also prevent the sharing of Custom Audience data across Business accounts.
Removed access to 3rd party data partners.
Facebook also announced they will be shutting down Partner Categories, which removes access to 3rd party data partners. Partner Categories are based on information provided by Facebook Marketing Partners, which allows you to further refine your targeting based on information compiled by these partners, such as offline demographic and behavioural information like homeownership or purchase history. Removing Partner Categories will help protect & improve people’s privacy on Facebook.
In addition to the above changes, Facebook is removing the option to search for users by entering a phone number or an email address after it was found that this information was being used to scrape public profile information.
These changes may be a step in the right direction in protecting their users, they still have a long way to go to show they’re committed to restoring their trust.