Facebook to Limit Ad Targeting for ‘Sensitive’ Characteristics, But Targeted Ads to Remain

November 10, 2021

Facebook announced this week that it will limit advertisers’ ability to target ads based on users’ history of interacting with political, religious, health-related, and certain other content on the platform. By January 2022, the company plans to restrict “detailed targeting” options “that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.” But the move falls well short of remedying Facebook’s longstanding practice of targeting ads based on personal data. For example, the new rules will still allow advertisers to target “custom audiences” of “people [who] have already shown direct interest in and engaged with the advertiser’s cause or brand.” EPIC has long advocated for increased transparency of Facebook’s data practices to protect the privacy of Facebook users.

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