Why isn’t Facebook ad targeting more transparent? Our founder shares his perspective with Digiday

In an article on Digiday, reporter Kate Kaye highlights the potential risks to Facebook when it comes to the proposed Social Media Disclosure and Transparency of Advertisements Act of 2021. If passed, the act would force an expansion of advertising data made available to academic researchers and the Federal Trade Commission.

Advertisers themselves might be jealous of the data researchers could access if the bill were to pass. For instance, it calls for platforms to provide data showing audience interests and demographics such as age, gender, location, race and political affiliation, along with any other information that might have been collected via ad system algorithms, or “any other description of the targeted audience determined to be reasonable by the Commission.” – Kate Kaye, Digiday

In the article, our founder Ty Martin provides his perspective on why Facebook doesn’t offer greater transparency:

“There are slightly different motivations in terms of why Facebook is not providing greater transparency in this area,” he said. Martin believes Facebook errs on the side of simplicity in its limits on data provided to advertisers about campaign exposure, how audience segments are determined and so on. For academics, however, platforms might limit data for other reasons, such as privacy concerns, according to Martin. “It’s probably just a lack of incentive; for every piece of data that gets exposed, there’s a risk,” he said.

Read more on Digiday: Cheat Sheet: New ads legislation could boost data access for research — but create new risks for advertisers