Facebook’s new Custom Audience transparency feature will soon give users a lot more information about the advertisers that are targeting them in ads.
Following the rampant and non-consensual use of audience email and phone number lists to target users on its platform, Facebook began asking advertisers to pledge that they had permission to use details when uploading them. But it’s clear that this wasn’t going to work, as it relies on honesty and no other form of enforcement. With no other conceivable way to encourage brands to tell the truth, Facebook will soon be telling users who uploaded the customer list with their details.
From 28 February, Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this?” section available through the feed post dropdown menu will provide users with a lot more information than just general targeting like age, gender, or location. It will show them when the list containing contact details was uploaded, by whom (the brand or an agency partner perhaps?), and whether it was shared between partners.
On the one hand, the feature will allow users to get a better understanding of who has their contact details and is trying to target them via ads – on the other; it could help Facebook find the advertisers who are using ill-gotten customer lists.