Facebook’s Ad Tool Leaks Private User Data 

As part of my Nieman fellowship at Harvard, I participated in Professor James Waldo’s Technology and Privacy class. For the final project in this class, I’ve examined how much non-public information Facebook will inadvertently leak if actively manipulated to do so.

Exploiting Custom Audiences

Facebook’s Custom Audience feature is a powerful tool that marketers can use to reach specific individuals via Facebook ads.As you can see in the screenshot above, Facebook lets marketers create custom audiences based on a customer file, website traffic, activity within apps, offline activity or people who engaged with specific content on Facebook’s owned platforms.When Facebook launched their Custom Audiences tool, it assured its users that the information marketers would receive would be “anonymous and aggregate ad reporting”.

Source: Facebook’s Ad Tool Leaks Private User Data – Matt Karolian – Medium

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