Facebook Plans To Add More Safeguards Against Abuse Of User Data

Facebook is still struggling to deal with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, and TechCrunch reported this week that the company will soon introduce new tools to safeguard user info.

The new feature, called Custom Audience, will serve as a certification tool that will require marketers to pledge that the email addresses they use for ad targeting were properly obtained.

“We’ve always had terms in place to ensure that advertisers have consent for data they use but we’re going to make that much more prominent and educate advertisers on the way they can use the data,” Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana told TechCrunch.

Of course, this certification pledge is not a guarantee that shady developers won’t still abuse their access to users. In fact, Facebook has previously told app developers not to buy, sell or share data they’ve collected from users, but the company didn’t threaten any kind of serious punishments to enforce the rule. And there were so many financial incentives to break the policy that it’s no wonder it was exploited.

Since the Custom Audience tool is still being built, there’s a chance it will require more than just a written promise from app developers not to dip their hands into user info. And let’s hope that’s the case, because previous problems have indicated that a promise is not enough.