Staff Writer
PR, Social Media
Facebook on Privacy and Personalisation

What Matters

A conversational series with Facebook leaders to address the tough questions from you—our advertisers and partners.


In this month’s What Matters Roundtable, David Fischer (Facebook’s Chief Revenue Officer), Erin Egan (VP and Chief Privacy Officer for Public Policy), Graham Mudd (VP Product Marketing, Ads), and Steve Satterfield (Privacy and Public Policy Director) addressed questions related to privacy, personalization and the evolving ads ecosystem.

Here’s a taste of what you might have missed

1. Introduction & Understanding Shifts in the Ads Ecosystem

David Fischer began with an overview of Facebook’s belief that personalized, targeted advertising is a vital contributor to the growth of the internet and the global economy. Graham Mudd, VP of Product Marketing, Ads, addressed three factors affected in the shift to the ads ecosystem: the control people have over their privacy and interactions with online businesses, adaptations in the tech platforms in response to the desire for more online privacy, and the evolving regulatory landscape.

2. Privacy Policy and Facebook’s Response

Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer for Public Policy, overviewed trends in privacy policy discussions, relating public concerns around data used for the delivery of personalized content, and continued coordination between regions around data transfers and consumer privacy.

Erin referenced this conversation to illustrate Facebook’s commitment to working alongside policymakers to develop comprehensive privacy regulations and advocates for individual data controls, baseline security obligations, and utilization of data for good, while protecting privacy.

3. Facebook’s Use of Data

Steve Satterfield, Privacy and Public Policy Director, summarized how Facebook uses data to inform the content that appears in Feed or Stories, including ads. He also discussed the privacy, security and transparency controls that Facebook has developed, to help people manage their experience on Facebook’s platforms.

4. Adjusting to the Ads Ecosystem

Graham Mudd outlined Facebook’s client support as businesses adjust to the evolving ecosystem, including policies going into effect with Apple’s iOS 14 update. An overview of available resources can be found in this guide.

Facebook is also investing in privacy-enhancing technologies (PET) and exploring alternative data processing procedures and measuring their effectiveness in the ads space.

5. Small Businesses Response to Facebook Ads

Small businesses face a continued wave of challenges due to the pandemic, which threatens to wreak more havoc if circumstances persist (see Facebook 2020 US State of Small Business Report). Steve noted the ongoing debate about the value of personalized ads, and assured advertisers that Facebook would continue to work with them and build tools to adapt to the evolving landscape.

6. Facebook’s Efforts to Protect & Build for Privacy

Erin discussed the guiding principles under which Facebook teams operate, which include giving people privacy controls and encrypted, secure data protections. Additionally, the Privacy Committee formed out of our FTC agreement, which catalyzed change within Facebook’s culture and infrastructure, has made privacy a core responsibility to every employee.

Steve continued by highlighting Facebook’s tools and practices that allow users to view and manage the data they share, and encouraged our partners to involve principles outlined today in their own marketing.

7. Preventing Divisive or Discriminatory Ad Targeting

To underline Facebook’s commitment to mitigate any discrimination on our platform, Steve identified the removal of over 5,000 targeting options that have potential for misuse, and changes to housing, employment, and credit opportunity ads, all of which can be reviewed in Facebook’s Ad Library (for US and Canada) for transparency.Advertisers are also required to complete education around our policies in order to continue advertising on Facebook’s platform.

Read the report on Facebook Ad Principles and Privacy & Data here.

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