Will Facebook permanently delete that search term from its servers? That would be the right thing to do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what Facebook will do. I’ve asked for further clarification on this score and will update this post if I get it.
Meanwhile, in related news, CNN has kind of a chilling story about how Facebook is marrying its ad data to your offline purchases via a company called Datalogix.
The idea is that Facebook knows you’ve seen an ad for Depends, let’s say, but it doesn’t know whether that ad inspired you to rush out and buy adult diapers. Enter Datalogix, which culls loyalty card purchase data from stores and ecommerce sites. Thanks to the data you’ve provided that retailer, Datalogix knows whether you’ve bought diapers lately. It can then match the diaper-buying public to Facebook users who’ve seen those Depends ads, and determine whether there was a spike in diaper purchases among that group following the ad.
According to that report, for every dollar advertisers spend on Facebook ads they get $3 back from additional purchases of those products. I’m not sure I believe that, but I’m skeptical about the effect of advertising in general, let alone Facebook ads.
The Facebook data is anonymized, so neither party knows the names of those who bought the diapers, per the report, but the details as to how that anonymization is done are unknown to us mere mortals. (And as we all know, anonymous data is only anonymous until it isn’t. Re-identification of allegedly anonymous data has become its own peculiar science.)
A better solution? Opt out of Datalogix products entirely. To do that you need to visit Datalogix’ site, go to its privacy page, and fill out a form.
And just when you thought it was safe to go back on Facebook again.
Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynanwrites. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.
Now read this: