Facebook Wants Advertisers To Target You Based On Your Religion Or Politics

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  • Facebook will seek consent of its users to allow advertisers to target them
  • The exercise will help improve how Facebook processes and manages users’ data
  • GDPR will harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens

Facebook wants to be General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant. In so doing, the tech giant intends to make advertisers to target you based on your religious and political beliefs. The company is currently testing a roll out exercise on a small number of its users in Britain, according to alphr, as part of its preparation to meet up the May 25th 2018 deadline.

The GDPR, which was adopted on 27 April 2016 becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018 and will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). The scope of the EU data protection law affects all foreign companies processing data of EU residents, among which Facebook and Google ranks the highest. With a severe penalties of up to up to €20 million or 4% of worldwide turnover, compliance to the regulation is non-optional for such companies.

The trial exercise by Facebook, as reported, is said to have been designed to improve how the company processes and manages its users’ data. As a requirement from GDPR, Facebook will seek consent of its users to allow advertisers to target them on the basis of their political and religious beliefs, as well as in other listed interests.

The report also quoted Facebook as saying that this option won’t enable extremists to use targeted advertising for recruitment propaganda, claiming it would help to eliminate malicious advertising on the social media platform. And as part of the trial, Facebook has equally included an opt-in for facial recognition, which will be part of a measure to stop online impersonations by informing users whenever their faces have been used elsewhere on the site.

Furthermore, the company will ask users whether they are happy for their public information identifying their faith and politics to remain visible for everyone. This move, obviously because of the GDPR requirement, which requires a subject’s consent to the processing of their personal data.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission intended to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU.

The regulation was adopted on 27 April 2016, but will become enforceable from 25 May 2018, after a two-year transition period, and will replace the current 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

The proposed new EU data protection regime extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover.



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