Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook to give Researchers more data for Targeting Political Ad
TECHDIGEST – Meta, Facebook parent company has develop a new initiative to allow for more transparency around how the company uses targeted advertising.

The New York Times reports journalists, academics and researchers who are part of the Facebook Open Research and Transparency Project will be able to see targeted advertising data.

“The information includes which interest categories — such as ‘people who like dogs’ or ‘people who enjoy the outdoors’ — were chosen to aim an ad at someone,” the Times reports.

The new data that is being added to the Facebook Open Research Transparency project and the Ad Library is a way to share information on political ad targeting while trying to keep data on its users private, the company said.

“By making advertiser targeting criteria available for analysis and reporting on ads run about social issues, elections and politics, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters on our technologies,” the company said in a statement.

What it means: Meta’s history is fraught with accusations of misuse of personal data and private information, in addition to claims that nefarious groups have been able to use the platform for illicit purposes. While Meta’s statement doesn’t address these claims, its aim of helping people “better understand” its practices sounds positive. However, it will take years of sustained action to change the company’s reputation around data use and transparency.

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