[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Facebook gets personal with Ad Targeting

Facebook is once more in rhetorical hot water as watchdog’s learn the platform can target users by very intimate information.

Oh Facebook

Despite religion, sexuality and political beliefs being classified as sensitive information under the new data protection law, Facebook is arguing it’s only targeting users by “interests.”

A Guardian investigation in partnership with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation discovered Facebook is able to infer extremely personal info about users and sell that info to digital marketers.

The GDPR (General data protection regulation) of the European Union has specifically named categories of ethnic origin, race, politics, beliefs, gender, and sexual orientation as off-limits to advertisers.

Beware the GDPR

According to the information commissioner’s office “This type of data could create more significant risks to a person’s fundamental rights and freedom…by putting hem at risk of unlawful discrimination.”

The issue is that users have not consented to harvesting this particular information, again. Facebook has responded in saying “Like other internet companies, Facebook shows ads based on topics we think people might be interested in, but without using sensitive personal data.”

The above is true, safe for the fact they can draw an indirect profile of a user’s sex, religion, and political alignment in the contrast. Facebook has since agreed to limit how such target tools are used in the future.

Do you think Facebook has crossed a line? Is this par for the course of advertising? Give us your thoughts in the comment section.

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