Content Marketing Blog

EU plans to review Facebook’s advertising practices

Facebook – the US based social networking site can be different things for different people and for those who work in online marketing it is more often thought of as a resource rather than online hang out.

But the Telegraph reports that the way brands access and build on user information may change, if a new directive by the European Commission (EC) gets the all clear.

Personalised ads are often a great way to expand customer bases and promote the concept of word-of-mouth recommendations.

However, it seems that the EC is considering placing limits on advertisers to stop them from leveraging user information.

Facebook would, therefore, have to review the way it uses and passes on personal data that is made available to advertisers.

And while the new law has yet to be passed, there are plans to push it through the EC in January 2012.

Of note to those who live outside of the EU, which includes brands based in Australia, is the fact that the new legislation is seeking to extend jurisdictions outside its own political boarders.

This means that the advertising laws would include all action taken on Facebook, including information stored in the US.

"If personalised data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use and application," the EC wrote in an official statement.

If the new laws are passed users would need to approve more than just the standard 4,000 word contract, which is made available by Facebook.

Facebook replied by emphasising that all data the site collates ensures user anonymity is maintained.

"We do not share people's names with an advertiser without a person's explicit consent and we never sell personal information to third parties."

Posted by Aimee McBride