Facebook Elaborates on Privacy for Atlas, LiveRail, Ad Preferences

By David Cohen Comment

PrivacyCircuitBoard650Recent changes to Facebook’s ad products resulted in concerns about users’ privacy, and deputy chief privacy officer Rob Sherman aimed to put users at ease with a detailed note on the Facebook and Privacy page Monday.

Sherman discussed Facebook’s Atlas advertising platform, LiveRail video advertising technology and ad preferences for users.

On Atlas — which Facebook acquired from Microsoft in February 2013 and overhauled and relaunched last September — Sherman described changes to the ad network’s privacy policy, noting that the changes are not operational, but merely offer more details to users.

According to Sherman, the revised privacy policy covers Atlas’ measurement tools for online and offline purchases, as well as ad targeting and optimization, adding:

The updated privacy policy provides more details of how we receive information from third parties to improve the ads people see. For example, an advertiser might want to reach people who have made a purchase on their website in the past with ads served by Atlas that contain a discount code for their next purchase.

As for LiveRail, which the social network acquired last July, information from Facebook will now be included in order to help ensure that the proper ads are served to the most appropriate users, and LiveRail’s privacy policy was updated to reflect the shift from desktop to mobile.

Sherman explained that LiveRail can now limit the number of times a specific user will see the same ad on different applications using LiveRail, and information about an ad that a user interacts with in one app can be used to serve that user related ads in another app. He added:

To help publishers understand what ads are most relevant to their audiences and how their ads are working, we include language that explains how we look at ads served across devices, and how people interact with those ads (such as clicks, or visits to the advertiser’s website or app). While we help publishers measure how their ads perform, we do not tell advertisers or publishers who people are.

Finally, Sherman stressed that Facebook users can opt out of seeing ads from Atlas and LiveRail on off-Facebook apps and sites via the Digital Advertising Alliance or the ad controls in their settings on iOS and Android.

Readers: What did you think of the details offered by Sherman in his note?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.