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Facebook stops targeted advertisements via third-party data

In an attempt to repair the already badly battered reputation of Facebook the social media company announced that they could advertise specifically based on data from third parties will phase out in the coming months. These so-called ‘partner categories’ are, according to Facebook, the normal practice in the industry, but they want to improve the privacy of people on the platform.
This function to use data from third parties allowed advertisers to focus very specifically on certain target groups. Advertisers usually do not have that data themselves, but they buy that from companies that collect and sell that kind of data.

Not interesting for us

It is not that important to us Dutch, because the data were only available to advertisers who wanted to reach people in the US, UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, France and Germany. Of course it is true that advertisers can use the data that Facebook has collected about us, so it is not as if we are suddenly completely free on the platform.
That being said, it is a good step. It is a pity that the Cambridge Analytica scandal was necessary for Facebook to take action, but it is no different. This also means that another party who has a lot to do with data trading is currently the only one of that size that can, namely Google. It would adorn Google (or Alphabet) if, following Facebook, they also became more strict with data sales. Well there is almost no one who has more data about us than Google and they will just continue to use them to please advertisers, but something more open is desirable.

Old wine, new bags?

That also applies to Facebook . The system that they are now going to lay down has very little to do with the reasons that Cambridge Analytica or other companies can get through with our data. The only good thing about this is that user data is worth less because you can not bet it on Facebook. Although: it is not clear whether data that a company has itself can be used and if so, you have only changed that those companies first have to buy, integrate and then use the data themselves. That would be an adjustment at the back with the same result for users, effectively. We are going to try to contact Facebook for clarification.

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