Facebook turns off Partner Categories, a targeting function for ads based on external data
Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is trying to protect its network and other potential future issues that may arise. Thus, the company closes the Partner Categories functionality, which allowed companies to use external data to target creatives. Practically, those who want to advertise on the social network will have to rely solely on the demographic categories already available in the system.
Companies like Experian and Acxiom provided customer data separately collected and stored on their servers. The new Facebook policy will prohibit the use of proprietary or purchased data from other sources for Facebook ads. Since Facebook offered access to the Experian and Acxiom databases through the Partner Categories system, the two companies received some of the revenue from selling ads on the social network
This form of targeting is neither new nor obligatory abusive as long as "partner" data is legally obtained. Since Facebook does not have access to and can not verify the data, it probably prefers to move away from a possible situation similar to the one it is currently in.
Of course, the Cambridge Analytica data collection is not exactly illegal, and the users who used the personality test that started this scandal by offering free access to their profiles. The problem arose when the friends' data from their lists was collected, unaccounted for. Facebook has announced that it has a plan for the next six months to make the social network a place where users' privacy will be greatly improved, and this is just one of the necessary steps