Facebook is launching a new advertising tool next week that will allow companies to target advertisements to Facebook users based on their email addresses, phone numbers and user id’s. However, these companies will only be allowed to do this for customers that have already used their business.
Facebook was quick to point out that it isn’t giving any of its users’ information away, but is instead taking existing email addresses and phone numbers from businesses and letting the businesses use that information to target their ads. A Facebook spokesperson stated the following to PCMag:
“Advertisers don’t get any data from Facebook; Facebook doesn’t get any data from advertisers, so the tool doesn’t grant advertisers access to specific, personally identifiable phone numbers, emails, etc; it gives advertisers an anonymous ‘match’ cluster to target campaigns against.”
Still, the whole thing seems a bit creepy. Who are they to be the middleman between our personal information and the businesses we patronize?
Facebook will scramble your data before they give it to the advertisers, and will dump it immediately afterward. Also, the site insists that the entire process is completely secure. I understand that Facebook is grasping at straws in an attempt to make some dough off of ad revenue; all websites are in this day and age. Yet everything the company does feels so insidious. Of course Facebook is giving your personal information to businesses so that they can target advertising. That’s just so Facebook. They’re seemingly only comfortable when they’re making their users extremely uneasy about privacy issues.
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