For true transparency around political advertising, US tech companies must collaborate

Ann M. Ravel Contributor Ann M. Ravel is the Digital Deception Project Director at MapLight and previously served as chair of the Federal Election Commission. In October 2017, online giants Twitter, Facebook and Google announced plans to voluntarily increase transparency for political advertising on their platforms. The three plans to tackle disinformation had roughly the […]

Facebook agrees to clearer T&Cs in Europe

Facebook has agreed to amend its terms and conditions under pressure from EU lawmakers. The new terms will make it plain that free access to its service is contingent on users’ data being used to profile them to target with ads, the European Commission said today. “The new terms detail what services, Facebook sells to […]

UK asks competition watchdog to put adtech market review top of its to-do list

The U.K. government has written to the country’s competition authority to ask the watchdog to respond to concerns about the lack of transparency in the digital advertising market and carry out a formal market study “as soon as possible.” In a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority, chancellor Philip Hammond writes that the online […]

Facebook urged to offer an API for political ad transparency research

Facebook has been called upon to provide good faith researchers with an API to enable them to study how political ads are spreading and being amplified on its platform. A coalition of European academics, technologists and human and digital rights groups, led by Mozilla, has signed an open letter to the company demanding far greater […]

Most Facebook users still in the dark about its creepy ad practices, Pew finds

A study by the Pew Research Center suggests most Facebook users are still in the dark about how the company tracks and profiles them for ad-targeting purposes. Pew found three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users did not know the social networking behemoth maintains a list of their interests and traits to target them with ads, only […]

Facebook is facing an EU data probe over fake ads

The UK’s privacy watchdog has asked Facebook’s lead EU regulator to look into ongoing data protection concerns about its ad platform — including how its platform is being used to target and spread fake adverts to try to manipulate voters. Facebook’s international HQ is in Ireland so the regulator in play here is the Irish […]

Facebook rolls out checks for UK political ads

Facebook has announced it rolled out a system of checks on political ads run on its platform in the UK which requires advertisers to verify their identity and location to try to make it harder for foreign actors to meddle in domestic elections and referenda. This follows similar rollouts of political ad transparency tools in […]

Yes Facebook is using your 2FA phone number to target you with ads

Facebook has confirmed it does in fact use phone numbers that users provided it for security purposes to also target them with ads. Specifically a phone number handed over for two factor authentication (2FA) — a security technique that adds a second layer of authentication to help keep accounts secure. Facebook’s confession follows a story Gizmodo […]

Facebook named in suit alleging job ads on its platform unlawfully discriminated against women

Facebook’s ad platform is facing charges that it has enabled gender-based discrimination against millions of women in a class action suit filed on behalf of three female workers and backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The legal action also names ten employers who are alleged to have used the social media giant’s platform […]

Facebook’s wider Kremlin Brexit ad sweep draws a blank

Facebook has claimed to have found no further evidence of co-ordinated Russian-backed ad purchases on its platform targeting the 2016 Brexit vote in addition to the ad buys it previously reported. In December Facebook reported finding three Brexit-targeted ads and less than $1 spent by Russian-backed agents. These were from the same pool of 470 […]