Not a quiet day in Facebook HQ with a same-day release for new marketing partner reviews and emails detailing how they share their data with political advertisers.
Facebook has been under scrutiny since last year due to its questionable data policies. Since the Cambridge Analytica issues, the social media giant has been looking for ways to update their algorithms to address the data privacy issues.
Facebook releases emails showing data debases
Facebook released a series of emails from 2015 and 2016 to shed light on the timeline when it first understood the threat from political data brokers. Of the data brokers, the biggest was the Cambridge Analytica where the data 87 million Facebook users where collected.
The emails verify the testimony Facebook gave that is wasn’t aware of the extent of damage by the Cambridge Analytica’s policy violations until December of 2015. Facebook didn’t have the entire situation calculated up until then.
The emails released by Facebook show the inside thoughts of employees at the time the data were shared with their marketing partners up until the 2016 presidential primary race. In the emails, it could be seen the employees were debating as to whether several ad partners and political data brokers, not only Cambridge Analytica, were complying with the company’s policies on user data.
What did the emails show?
One email from October 2015 reveals the thoughts of an employee who said that the firm called NationBuilder was seemingly violating Facebook’s rules because it was allegedly collecting data from public posts and sharing the information to data brokers.
The email showed that NationBuilder offered its services to For America, a political active page with 7.6 million followers. The firm said that the data could help build the fanbase of For America with their category of data including names, street addresses, and birth dates of hundred of thousands of people.
Both Facebook and NationBuilder opted to not comment regarding the issue.
Facebook launches a review to its developers and marketing partners
The social network has also launched reviews of its developers, particularly those that use API, or application programming interface. The API allows companies to go into Facebook tools to create their own products. Facebook has updated its API policies and restricted the data that companies can use.
Facebook is also reviewing partners for any mishandles data. Just this July, Facebook agreed to a $5 billion settlement with FTC concerning its data-sharing problems. It’s now taking necessary actions against other companies who are using the information on Facebook for their own benefit.
What’s in it for marketers?
Data are helpful for widening the reach of brands, especially so that they can use it for audience targeting. However, the collected data must be taken legally in accordance with the policies set by the sites where the data come from.