Facebook will soon be requiring users to give permission to use their personal data for targeted advertisements.


Complying With New Regulations

As part of the new requirements associated with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook recently announced that they will begin to start requesting users to explicitly opt in to have their data used for its ad-targeting. Despite the fact that the GDPR, which took effect on May 25th, is a European-specific privacy law, this will be rolling out to users worldwide.


Procedural Breakdown

Within months, all Facebook users will be prompted with a notification asking them to review information regarding their personal data and targeted ads. They will be able to choose whether or not they want their data to be extracted for deeper ad personalization. This includes data about their political, religious, and relationship views.

Facebook will also give users the option to agree on using facial recognition technology to enhance the user experience and provide additional security in the event that their pictures are used unknowingly by third parties. This will be off by default for users aged 18 and under.



There has been some scrutiny behind the messaging choice Facebook has used to move people through this process. When users are prompted with the initial message, they can either choose to “Accept and Continue” or “Manage Data Settings”. There is no clearly stated “No” button. When the “Manage Data Settings” button is pressed, a second page will be displayed that seemingly provides further information correlating to a user agreeing to the term. It’s not until the third screen that there is an actual opt-out option.

Image Source: Facebook

Image Source: Facebook


Moving Forward

Following a series of trends revolving around heightening data security and further safeguarding its association with ads, brands and advertisers should expect more privacy procedures to follow over the coming months – not just with Facebook, but with all digital mediums. And while this might be cause for alarm for some marketers due to the fear in having a portion of their audience withdrawing from their total reach, this actually opens the doors to some real strong personalization features in the future. After all, not all users will be opting out, and the ones that do give their consent will likely become the primary focus in terms of providing a more personal, targeted advertising experience. Expect to find even more tactics to reach the right type of customers in the future.