Facebook AdChoices integration lets you keep advertisers from getting overly acquainted

First Posted: 02/06/13 05:00 AM ET Updated: 04/08/13 05:12 AM ET

You may search things on Facebook, but that doesn't necessarily mean you want advertisers seeking you out. FB users will gain increased control over the advertising experience on the desktop version of the site as the company teamed with The Online Interest-Based Accountability Program. This division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council is overseen by the Council of Better Business Bureaus and helps regulate interest-based advertising across the internet.

As you've likely noticed on some sites, advertisers can track your history while you surf the web and display strategic messages based on the pages you've visited. A similar experience occurs on Facebook, but tweaks to its ad exchange (FBX) will let advertisers include an AdChoices icon. This tool is used in the industry to notify users that the displayed promo is a result of search-based advertising.

Users can click the logo to learn why particular ads are being presented to them and, furthermore, choose to opt-out of ads from specific ad servers or brands. Facebookers currently have opt-out settings, but the icon will hopefully make the options more prominent -- although, it'll only display if the "x" above the ad is moused-over. Facebook'll also replace the "Report this ad" hover text with a more descriptive phrase like "Learn about Facebook Ads." However, it's unclear if this is in complete compliance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines for "clear and prominent notice" since the ads still require user interaction to reveal their targeted nature.

As Ad Age states, many agencies use the tool for online campaigns and some advertisers even demand it. With FB willing to host the AdChoices icon across its platform, the method is sure to gain greater exposure and help alleviate the pains of privacy compliance. In an emailed statement from Facebook, Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said: "At Facebook, we work hard to build transparency and control into each of our products, including our advertising offerings." Palo Alto expects to roll out the alterations by the end of March -- so online advertisers may continue to stalk you, but Mark's making it a little easier to shut the blinds.

Originally posted Feb 5, 2013 on Engadget by Nicole Lee
Revised for Aol by Rob Zanicchi

Via: Ad Age, Ars Technica
Source: Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (PDF), ASRC Reviews

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