By Jill Forkal
Ever wonder how much personal information advertisers are getting from your Facebook and Twitter? Not happy about it? Better delete your account then…
According to Edmund Lee of AdAge, Facebook and other social networking sites will be the “winner” in the battle over privacy. Facebook encourages members to use their real names and to provide accurate information, and users have responded by doing just that.
Facebook has been a pioneer in social-networking targeting. Blinq Media is one of the major players regarding ad targeting. Now, users can see which of their friends “like” which brands and products, and Blinq also runs campaigns to build fans, allows RSVPs and can install applications.
Lee says, “When online marketers peek into your surfing habits and presume some basic information, such as your age and gender, it doesn’t feel creepy so much as it feels unnecessary when Facebook has all that information upfront, provided by the user herself.”
Other companies, such as RadiumOne and Media6Degrees, are targeting ads based on social interactions, such as anonymous sharing of content, posting to a blog, emailing from a publisher site or commenting.
“Everyone has access to the same data. Our model looks at everything that happens outside of Facebook that allows you to have that social experience. When you share, I don’t know what kind of connection you have, but I do know there’s an influencer and someone being influenced,” RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal said.
Recently, the federal government has opted out of privacy legislation for online-advertising. However, some regulation needs to occur within the advertising community in order for the government to stay at its decision.
The Digital Advertising Alliance has endorsed a set of “principles” for online advertisers to follow. These principles require that ads and websites disclose what information is being collected and used to target advertising, and allow consumers to choose whether their information is used or not. Advertisers who follow these rules are granted permission to use a designated icon, known as the Advertising Option Icon, or the “forward I.”
This icon assures consumers that the website and advertisers are in compliance with the established principles, and those who are not, risk losing their membership with respected organizations, such as the 4A’s, AAF, or the IAB.
In February, the Digital Advertising Alliance gave advertisers a 6-month period to comply with the principles. While many companies are jumping on board, this still does not guarantee that Congress won’t pass an online privacy law. However, when users have already given Facebook permission to collect data by signing up, there may not be a privacy issue here at all.