Facebook Buys Data on Users’ Offline Habits for Better Ads

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After conquering the social front, Facebook now seems to be all set to overpower the Advertising world. Facebook now has been found buying third-party data to know the offline habits of its users. Facebook claims that this will help them serve targeted ads better and make the ads as focused as possible.

However, as indicated by a ProPublica report, Facebook is considerably purchasing more sensitive data about its user’s offline behavior, such as their salary, their shopping and spending habits, credit cards they own, restaurants they frequently visit and much more.

On its part, Facebook says that it doesn’t have to inform users with detail on how it utilizes the third party data since the data is gathered by the third party and not Facebook. “Our approach to controls for third-party categories is somewhat different than our approach for Facebook-specific categories,” said Steve Satterfield – Facebook manager of privacy and public policy. “This is because the data providers we work with generally make their categories available across many different ad platforms, not just on Facebook.”

As of now, Facebook works with six data partners in the United States. These data partners deal mainly with the financial information of the users.

If you’re the sort of individual, who keeps your data as private as you could, you’re most likely not on Facebook anyways. But as Facebook is getting more and more ubiquitous and difficult to avoid, it will be good to know how your personal data is being used and ways to safeguard it as much as possible.

Our approach to controls for third-party categories is somewhat different than our approach for Facebook-specific categories,” says Steve Satterfield, a Facebook privacy and public policy manager, as cited by ProPublica. “This is because the data providers we work with generally make their categories available across many different ad platforms, not just on Facebook.

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