Facebook to End Targeting with Third Party Data

Facebook is phasing out its arrangement to let marketers target ads based on individual data from third party providers like Acxiom and Experian. It’s positioned as a privacy-enhancing move but the actual impact is likely to be slight (marketers could still buy the data directly) and it doesn’t address the core issue of data that Facebook gathers itself. The change may shift some immediate attention from Facebook but will likely to hurt them in the long run by fueling the fast-growing hysteria about data gathering in general. For example, see Cracked Lab’s excellent but alarmist report from last June, now gaining more attention. Side note: Acxiom said the change would reduce its profits by $25 million next year, which considerably exceeds their company-wide earnings. Acxiom stock dropped 35% on the news although the loss only 20% by the end of the day.