Facebook end its partnerships with data brokers in blow to targeted ads

Vastavam web: Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Wednesday it would end its partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target people on the social network, a step that follows a scandal over how Facebook handles personal information.The world’s largest social media company is under pressure to improve its handling of data after disclosing that information about 50 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has for years given advertisers the option of targeting their ads based on data collected by companies such as Acxiom Corp (ACXM.O) and Experian PLC (EXPN.L).The tool has been widely used among certain categories of advertisers – such as automakers, luxury goods producers and consumer packaged goods companies – who do not sell directly to consumers and have relatively little information about who their customers are, according to Facebook.Shares in Acxiom traded down more than 10 percent to $25 after Facebook’s announcement after the bell. Shares in other data brokers were largely unchanged. A representative for Acxiom could not immediately be reached for comment.

Facebook declined to comment on how the change could affect its ad revenue.Advertisers would still be able to use third-party data services to measure how well their ads performed by examining purchasing data, Facebook said.Facebook on Wednesday also put all its privacy settings on one page and made it easier to stop third-party apps from using personal information. Privacy settings had previously been spread over at least 20 screens, Facebook said.

Facebook said in a blog post it had been working on the updates for some time but sped things up to appease users’ anger over how the company uses data and as lawmakers around the globe call for regulation.