Facebook: Users must accept targeted ads

19 April 2018

Facebook: Users must accept targeted ads

Image credit: Downloadsource (Flickr)

Facebook said on Tuesday that users would have to accept targeted advertising as a condition if they still wanted to use the platform, despite a new European Union privacy law that will take effect next month.

The EU law will enforce strict monetary penalties if Facebook collects or uses personal data without permission.

Facebook deputy chief privacy officer, Rob Sherman, said that the platform would begin asking European users’ permission this week for a variety of ways Facebook will use their data, however, he stated that opting out of targeted advertising altogether would be impossible.

In a briefing with reporters at Facebook headquarters, Mr Sherman said, “Facebook is an advertising supporting service.”

While Facebook will limit the kinds of data that advertisers can utilise for their pitches, Mr Sherman added that “all ads on Facebook are targeted to some extent, and that’s true for offline advertising as well.”

Facebook will initiate, as of this week, permission screens which notify users of the data Facebook will collect if they proceed with their action.

However, the screens do not enable users to ‘decline’ the terms, but rather ‘accept and continue’ or ‘manage data settings’ according to a copies the company showed reporters on Tuesday.

The changes will be implemented in Europe this week, but will extend globally in the coming months, Mr Sherman said.

The tightened privacy policies have followed last month’s scandal, where it was discovered that the data of millions of users around the world were unethically being harvested by political consultancy group Cambridge Analytica.

The scandal ultimately lead to US congressional hearings where Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced hours of questioning over the platform’s commitment to privacy.