Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its ‘partner categories’ ad-targeting feature. “This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” explained the social network in a brief blog post.
“While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”
The feature had involved using data from third-party aggregators, like Experian and Acxiom, to complement Facebook’s own data from/on its users.
Note: turning this particular data-pipe off isn’t a measure that would have had an impact on Cambridge Analytica, the company at the centre of claims it scraped data on more than 50 million Facebook users, since that data came from a personality-test app developed by an academic partner.
In separate but related news, Facebook is making its data settings and privacy tools “easier to find”, with all those settings now accessible from a single place rather than “spread across nearly 20 different screens” (an existing state of affairs that tells its own story about the company’s past approach).
The biggest zinger of the week on all this comes from Apple CEO Tim Cook, however. Asked in a TV interview what he’d do if he were Mark Zuckerberg, Cook replied: “I wouldn’t be in his situation.”