Facebook is aggressively taking remedial actions to strengthen its privacy settings and gain community trust back in the light of mishandling 50 million users’ data. On Wednesday it made two parallel announcements on its platform. The first one is related to its Partner Categories service and the other one is on Settings menu fresh look.

The social media giant, Facebook is restricting the advertisers’ access to easily available third-party data. Contrarily, this is a common phenomenon for marketers to purchase extensive consumer profiles from data research firms to widespread the product promotional program. However, currently, Facebook is not in a position to take any chance on compromising the privacy of its users as it has no control over how the information will be utilized further by marketers.

Graham Mudd, Facebook Product Marketing Director wrote in a statement dated March 28, 2018

Shutting Down Partner Categories

We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

Just to let the audience know, Facebook Ads (launched in 2007) is a prominent source of revenue for the company. The advertisers on Facebook themselves have their own compilation of user information. Adding to this, Facebook accumulates information from its 2 billion+ and growing user profiles based on their interests, likes and other activities. This enormous recorded data is furnished to advertisers to create a presence in the appropriate market for their products and services.

Facebook Partner Categories

Facebook is continuously working on updating privacy features. Source: Facebook Newsroom

Approaching Partner Categories

Nevertheless, the Facebook database is still narrow and hence it announced Facebook Partner Categories in 2013 which is a supplement feature for refining target audience in advertising strategy. Here, the businesses especially small ones have the opportunity to obtain huge profiles aggregated by the data research firms like Acxiom, Experian, and Oracle Data Cloud. This lets marketers choose the right customers from a big database and expand target audience size.  When marketers use this data, Facebook shares the ad revenue with the data provider. The data-supplier targeting is available in markets like U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, the U.K., Australia, and Japan.

Facebook is quite okay with promoters using their possessed insights as well as Facebook data compilation for designing the right advertisement strategy. However, the third party option to procure data is a considerable threat to the company’s current privacy policies.

Initiated with an aim to facilitate businesses spread their brand messages to larger and accurate audience, restricting advertisers from using the huge database is literally going to hurt Facebook’s financial statement. Yet it is important for the company to survive the present turbulent wave of botching user privacy.

Facebook Partner Categories Advertising

Facebook reveals the fresh look of the Settings menu. Source: Facebook Newsroom

New Settings Menu

The second announcement is on the lines of what Mark Zuckerberg declared in his first appearance post data breach disgrace. Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel mentioned about redesigning the complete Settings Menu on mobiles to enhance security. It is now easier for users to find privacy settings as the 20 different pages are merged into a single page. The community users can also update the information shared with apps in the past.

In times ahead, Facebook will affirm its transparency of data policies with a release of an updated term of use in an easy to understand language and offers detailed information.