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Facebook Isn’t Telling the Whole Story About Its Decision to Stop Partnering With Data Brokers

3.4.2018 BY JAMIE WILLIAMS AND GENNIE GEBHART   https://www.eff.org/

The company publicly announced last week that it was shutting down its Partner Categories program to “help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

What it didn’t mention was that the move is actually part of the company’s efforts to comply with the GDPR, the new EU data protection law going into effect in May, which imposes consent requirements that make using third-party data more difficult.

While it’s nice to see Facebook deciding to implement this EU-mandatory privacy change across the globe, it would be missing some of the larger picture to interpret this as a completely voluntary, privacy-protective measure taken wholly in response to Cambridge Analytica. Beyond the stark fact of legal compliance, this isn’t even a move that is likely to affect Facebook’s bottom line: the company may actually stand to benefit from this, in terms of boosted profits and solidified market dominance.

Even combined with the repackaged account settings also announced last week, winding down Partner Categories is nowhere near the level of deep, structural change Facebook needs in order to protect privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Partner Categories is a program that has allowed advertisers to use data from seven third-party data broker “partners,” layered on top of Facebook data, to target users with ads. Facebook purchases the third-party data, on behalf of an advertiser, directly from the data broker. Unlike some articles have suggested, the third-party data broker partners do not get Facebook data via this program, but they do get a cut of the advertising sale. Cutting off this program means advertisers will be serving ads to you based only on your Facebook data (plus any data the advertisers themselves have)—which means Facebook gets to keep all this money.

Even though Facebook will soon stop using third-party data to serve us ads, the fact remains that it is collecting more data about us than ever.

read more: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/04/facebook-isnt-telling-whole-story-about-its-decision-stop-partnering-data-brokers

 

 

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