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Why Paid Social on Facebook is Still Safe

Jeff Cunning April 23, 2018

Unless you live on a peaceful, unplugged remote island, you’ve read the news about Facebook and its problems with British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Following the revelations of how the company used Facebook user data, Facebook has come under fire for the perceived inadequacy of its privacy controls.

In particular, users and lawmakers have questions about the accessibility of personal profile and user data. The social network has responded to this intense scrutiny by implementing a long list of initial changes, essentially trying to show their work on how they’re enhancing user data privacy.

Mindful Data Mining

The good news is that, for most advertisers, the vast majority of data used to create social ads is not—worth repeating, NOT—the data at issue with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. But brands and the customers they serve may still have some reservations about social ad data. Here’s why there’s so little to worry about for Pattern89 customers.

Pattern89’s data co-op is built on a foundation of anonymized data. Not only that, we use ad performance data, which is available within Facebook but owned by each advertiser. This means the data we use is both provided with consent by advertisers and absent of the personal user profile data that has been the subject of recent news.

We continue working to earn the trust and permission of our customers to handle their advertising performance data, and to display it for them in our consoles.

Next Steps

Despite the safety of advertiser data and how we anonymize it, the resolution of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica is still up in the air. And it’s yet to be seen how the efficacy of Facebook advertising will be affected as a whole. Will users actually flee the platform for fear of their data being compromised? After all, this isn’t the first time Facebook’s faced a threatened exodus from unhappy users.

For now, however, the direct impact on advertisers includes the removal of third-party targeting options previously available through Facebook’s audience targeting UI (such as the targeting formerly offered through partnership with Acxiom). Brands who are nervous about that loss should rest easy: there are no planned changes to or issues with Facebook’s core audience targeting products, like custom and lookalike audiences.

So, what does this all mean? Facebook advertising is still safe for advertisers and the audiences they target. And Pattern89 is dedicated to improving paid social through data science—transparently and honestly.

Want to see how your social ads stack up? Get a Pattern89 Social Scorecard now.