This should be interesting…
“Starting February 28th, Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this?” button in the drop-down menu of feed posts will reveal more than the brand that paid for the ad, some biographical details they targeted and if they’d uploaded your contact info. Facebook will start to show when your contact info was uploaded, if it was by the brand or one of their agency/developer partners and when access was shared between partners. A Facebook spokesperson tells me the goal is to keep giving people a better understanding of how advertisers use their information.”
If they do it right, and let’s face it, this is Facebook so there are no guarantees here, this could open up a lot of eyes. One of the difficult things when dealing with spam emails for example, is trying to figure out which site that you gave that email address to sold it to spammers. Gmail made that a little easier by allowing us to add “+” and any text to our email address, but even that turned out to be a lot of extra work for people.
For example, if I bought something at walmart, I could append “+walmart” to the first part of my email address, and know that any spam addressed to that address, was a result of Walmart selling it, or being hacked. But, as websites got hacked over and over, and every single website in the world (but not this one!), starting requiring our email address, this got burdensome to keep track of.
So now we just sort of all accept that our email addresses are available to anyone and everyone. But, with Facebook ads, and really just about any web advertisers, there is almost always a reason you are being shown an ad, and often it has to do less with that direct site, and more with what other sites know about you. Being able to see who is tracking you across social media sites, or who is giving up your information, may start to get more people thinking about privacy.
That’s not a bad thing.
It might even lead to some GDPR violations, if Facebook’s data shows some company uploading contact data of EU citizens who didn’t give them permission to share that data. That’ll be interesting too.
Of course, they could also do this all wrong and make it a mess. It’s not like they don’t have a history of doing just that with some other tools.