Two weeks back, Facebook came under fire after a data breach scandal was uncovered by Cambridge Analytica, a British analytics firm. The firm openly accessed data of over 50 million Facebook users based in the US in a bid to manipulate the US’ 2014 Presidential Election. This was the biggest data breach the American social media giant has faced since its inception and now its receiving severe backlashes (and rightly so, according to industry experts). The scandal even forced Facebook to delay the unveiling of its smart speakers.
In an attempt to counter the consequences of the breach being unveiled globally, Facebook has started taking remedial steps. First of all, the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has apologized to users through several platforms including a full-page ad in major newspaper outlets of the United Kingdom and the United States.
One more remedy taken by the company is ending the support of data-sharing with third-party for the purpose of advertisement targeting. Previously, Facebook shared user demographics with data brokers who would further assist online advertisers in tailoring their ads in a bid to improve their return on investment. However, due to serious privacy concerns being raised by users worldwide, Facebook has cut off support for this facility.
This feature, called Partner Categories started off in 2013 thanks to a partnership between Facebook and major data brokers. The feature has been discontinued permanently, according to a statement recorded by TechCrunch who inquired directly from Facebook. This change is likely to affect the number of advertisers the social media network welcomes, thereby resulting in a huge loss in prospective revenue.