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Facebook offers statement on latest privacy loophole

Larissa Anderson Oct 22, 2010

We contacted Facebook for our story, Facebook outs gays to advertisers. While they didn’t get back to us in time for our deadline, we did hear back from a spokesperson. Here’s the statement:

Our advertising guidelines prohibit advertisers from using user data collected from running an ad on Facebook, including information derived from targeting criteria. For example, we explicitly prohibit them from associating that targeting detail with the data collected from the user in forms they fill out, applications they make, or other interactions on their site. We also require that targeting of ads based on a user attribute be directly relevant to the offer in the advertisement. We take the privacy of our users very seriously and take immediate action when violations of these policies come to our attention. We don’t provide any personally identifiable information to advertisers and we recommend that people always exercise caution when filling out forms about themselves online. We have no evidence that the advertisers mentioned in this study sought to collect information about people using Facebook, but we encourage people to report any advertisements that they suspect may be doing so.

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