In the spirit of openness and full disclosure, Facebook is marking its 9th birthday by announcing that it’s prepared to tell us what we already know. That your data is being tracked by the website and given to advertisers.
The social networking giant has joined the advertising industry’s AdChoices programme – a self-regulatory body that shows people which adverts are targeted to you based on browsing or profile date. Which means that soon, you’ll see AdChoices options on the adverts you’re shown on Facebook.
And these options will let you opt out of targeted adverts – keeping your data out of the hands of certain advertisers or groups.
The director of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the group which brought Facebook into the programme, is particularly enthusiastic about this move – which will help safeguard the rights of over a billion consumers while increasing the visibility of the programme:
“This is a huge step forward for recognition of the icon because there are so many Facebook users that are interactive with the site. We want 100 percent industry compliance. If we have less than that, it’s a problem.”
Genie Barton – Director, ASRC
When you hover over an advert on Facebook, you are given a small “x” cancel icon to click on. In future, clicking this will give you a number of choices, including hiding the advert, reporting it, or opting out of targeted advertising.
This option will be added to targeted adverts by the end of March. Expect the companies buying Facebook ads to be non-plussed, and the company’s stock prices to move accordingly.
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