“After working with a third-party auditor to review the practices of all our mobile measurement partners, we discovered that some weren’t adhering to the terms they agreed to," Facebook said in a statement. "As a result, we've removed a couple of our partners from the program. We take our contracts seriously, and will continue to act swiftly anytime we find out they are being violated."
The dismissal of HasOffers and Kontagent is an indicator of how seriously Facebook is treating its mobile advertising channel. In Q4 its mobile ad revenue surpassed desktop for the first time, reaching $1.2 billion globally. Additionally Facebook has launched a new test of a mobile ad network, working with a small set of app developers to extend the reach of ad buys leveraging its audience data.
The data collected and retained by Facebook's MMPs includes downstream conversions, lifetime value and ad ROI, all pegged to anonymous user IDs. One possible concern from Facebook's point of view is that anonymous user data gathered from Facebook campaigns could be cross-referenced with a device identifier such as Apple's Identifier For Advertising (IDFA) to create a side data business. The data retention limits are intended in part to mitigate that risk.
Probably the larger motive is to show the world -- regulators, advertisers, and partners -- that Facebook has meticulous privacy controls in place and will be constantly monitoring for violations and take actions when it finds them.
To that end, it's worth noting no data leaks or privacy breaches were discovered by Facebook or its auditor.
Neither HasOffers nor Kontagent were available to comment.
The story previously stated incorrectly that MMPs can track impressions.