June 18, 2021
Facebook Partner Categories program shutting down

Facebook to Cut Ties with Third-Party Data Brokers

The Facebook Partner Categories program is shutting down, a lucrative revenue stream, to improve its privacy handling, the company announced…

Facebook, facing immense public backlash and now governmental scrutiny, announced it will end its Partner Categories program. That means the social network will soon shutter access to some user data by third-parties.

Facebook Partner Categories Program Shutting Down

The program currently centers around two entities — Acxiom Corporation and Epsilon Data Management LLC. These two companies presently collection user information and then sell it to other data brokers, as well as marketing firms. Here’s what Facebook’s product marketing director, Graham Mudd, says:

“We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

Clearly, Facebook is in the midst of rehabilitating its now tarnished reputation. Data brokers aren’t new, nor are their practices. But, this does mark a significant step forward in protecting users’ information.

This move comes after the social platform announced a redesign of its privacy, data, and deletion options. That change will place all settings in one place, instead of them being scattered over different pages.

Facebook is now a defendant in a civil lawsuit alleging privacy violations for supposedly scrapping Android call and text data. The suit seeks class action, filed in the Northern District of California, by three individual users.