On Thursday, Facebook alerted advertisers, agencies and its marketing partners that starting in November, they’ll need to confirm the nature of their relationships to each other before they’re allowed to share Facebook data amongst themselves.
Some businesses are in the habit of sharing data from using Facebook’s ad products with their partners to help with campaign management and optimization.
Facebook hopes to inject more transparency into its advertising system, which could arguably stop another Cambridge Analytica situation from snowballing out of control. While this won’t necessarily prevent all unauthorized data sharing from happening – it’s based on the honor system – Facebook will have a data trail to follow if anything unsavory does go down.
Companies that want to share data will have to designate their ad partners within an Ads Manager pop-up and will need to explain how they work together.
By clicking “accept,” businesses also confirm that they have all of the necessary consents and permissions in place to use and share Facebook pixel, SDK or offline event set data for advertising purposes.
The new rules will apply to data gathered from the Facebook pixel, which tracks online interactions with Facebook ads; app event data from the Facebook SDK; and offline event data, including purchase data and other more sensitive information, such as hashed name, email address and phone number.
Throughout the first half of next year, businesses that previously shared pixel, app or offline event data must complete the permissions workflow.
The move is similar to the one made by Facebook in June when it started requiring businesses using Custom Audiences to identify where the audience information originated, whether from their own first-party lists, through a third-party provider or perhaps a combo of both.
As with the requirements for Custom Audiences targeting, there’s no penalty for not ticking the box other than not being allowed to use the service or share data through Facebook. It's just an added layer of accountability to help Facebook suss out how data is moving through its platform and perhaps a way to pass the responsibility and culpability over to its ad partners.
Facebook has been systematically locking down its ads system since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March. Beyond the Custom Audiences permissions tool and its new data-sharing requirements, Facebook recently removed the ability to use third-party data through its platform for targeting ads.