Facebook To Give Users Access To Advertising Data

Facebook
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, Aug. 14, 2013. Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will soon give users some control over what kinds of ads show up on their profile pages. The social media giant announced on Thursday that it will grant users access to the records it keeps and uses to determine which ads are targeted to them.

Once the new protocol is in place, users will see a tiny arrow in a right corner of each ad on their profile. Clicking the arrow will bring up the option “Why am I seeing this?” This will take users to their ad preferences and a full record of their interests as perceived by Facebook. Users will be able to change, delete or add to the information in their files, which will dictate what kind of ads they see on Facebook. 

The move follows a push by the Federal Trade Commission and the White House to have Congress pass legislation to give people more control over the data that companies collect about them online. 

Facebook says it's responding to user demand for more targeted advertising, but many say that the company's prime interest is collecting data for its own financial benefit. 

“Marketers want more data to be able to target people,” Debra Aho Williamson, who studies social media for the research firm eMarketer, told the New York Times. "And Facebook wants more data to make the advertising as relevant as possible."

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