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Facebook to collect users data for targeted ads and how to opt out of it


You surf the Web to find a new pair of shoes, or the latest music album by one of your favorite music artists – only to see an ad for it in your Facebook margin sometime later. “How did this get here?” you ask. In short, Facebook tracks your searches (and pays attention to your “likes”) and realizes that most consumers search for certain items because those items have some significance. You are what you search.

Today, the social media giant decided to roll out some new Ad features that put users first. For those who like targeted ads, Facebook now allows you to see only the ads that are of interest to you. Called “Ad Preferences,” you can choose to see more ads like the one in question or to stop seeing ads like the one you’re seeing. Whenever you see an ad on your Facebook page, simply click the arrow (>) to the right of the ad (or the “x”) and select “Why am I seeing this?”. You can then choose to select whether or not to see this ad or others. If you’re bored with sports ads, for example, you don’t have to view sports ads once you tailor your ad preferences.

And then, there are some Facebook users who don’t want to be targeted with ads at all. For these individuals, Facebook now allows you to opt out of target advertising via the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a group Facebook partners with to provide targeted ads based on information the DAA gathers from user mobile browsers and devices. On Facebook’s Ad Control page, the company sends you to the DAA site in order to opt out of receiving Facebook ads. If you want to opt out of Facebook ads, simply visit the DAA page. Once you select the DAA page, you’ll have to wait a few minutes as the site checks to make sure you’ve cookies enabled on your device. If you’ve some sort of Ad Blocker Safari extension or other ad blocker, you’ll need to turn it off before you can continue with your opt-out ad request.

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Another thing to remember: if you want to opt out of certain advertising from certain agencies, you can select individual advertisers. It’s the most likely scenario that, if you don’t want ads from one agency, you don’t want them from any – so you’ll need to select the “select all shown” option (right across from the “company name” label right above the individual companies).

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All in all, the changes should appease Facebook users who want more control over their ads and more opt-out ability. Facebook said at its F8 Conference that, if consumers have no faith in Facebook, they won’t use Facebook developer apps. It’s nice to see Facebook put its beliefs into practice.

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