Facebook’s business model pretty much depends on targeted ads and user information. But with recent changes and regulations, it will become harder for the company to maintain its business. To face this issue, they have started working with Google to develop privacy-enhancing techniques that deliver targeted ads but without taking user info. This move is in line with previous reports of Facebook trying to analyze encrypted data to target ads.
Till now, targeted ads have worked in a similar manner where they take user info either directly or through cookies. However, Facebook’s new initiative might be an industry changer. With this new technology, users won’t have to give up their data to companies, much to the latter’s disappointment.
Previously, the EU and the US have passed legislation regarding ‘microtargeted ads’ and ‘surveillance of users’ by dominant internet companies. Even Apple has made it so that developers ask users for permission to track them across other apps for targeting ads. Google is also planning for something similar for Android.
How will Facebook targeted ads affect user privacy?
Even Facebook has acknowledged that its targeted ads must change, or it will likely hurt its revenue growth. So for the last year, they have been testing the Private Lift Measurement solution with select advertisers. This uses a privacy-enhancing technology called secure multi-party computation. This technology helps advertisers with their campaigns while also adding layers of privacy to limit user information.
Using this technology, Facebook can keep its obligations to advertisers while also making users feel more secure. They are also looking towards applications of on-device learning. This will involve processing data locally on user’s devices rather than sending individual data to a remote server or cloud.
Will this improve Facebook’s user privacy?
Next year, this technology will become available to advertisers, but only time will tell how well it does. We all know how important user data is to companies as their businesses rely heavily upon them. Especially considering Facebook has fought a long fight to justify its data collection.