Originally published: February 4, 2013
Last updated: February 15, 2013 - 1:33am
Facebook is about to get more transparent in the way it targets advertising at its users. The social network has agreed to start displaying the little blue "AdChoices" icon on its display ads served through its FBX ad exchange after months of public and private complaints from ad agencies and advertisers.
The icon -- intended to provide enhanced notice of behavioral targeting and allow users to opt-out -- will look the same as the one seen across the web, with one big caveat. Rather than appearing directly on FBX display ads, the symbol will show up only when users mouse over the gray "x" displayed above the ads shown on Facebook's right rail. Even the "x" only appears when someone mouses over it, so people not familiar with the feature won't always be made aware that an ad was targeted using third-party data gathered elsewhere online. On the face of it, the move is progress for the industry's most pervasive self-regulatory ad privacy program. However, whether the implementation satisfies the original mission of the Digital Advertising Alliance program is up to debate.
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