A remarkable shift by Facebook is underway as it plans a new privacy-focused revamp of its advertising system. It reveals to place more value on user privacy and less reliance on data collection. The social giant business is known for its ability to track users across the internet and utilize the information for its ad targeting processes. Owing to impending regulation and data collection limitations, it is working to create a system that delivers personalized ads without any individual user’s data. Facebook’s VP of product marketing, Graham Mudd explained,
With Apple and Google continuing to make changes via their browsers and operating systems, and with the changing privacy regulatory landscape, it’s important to acknowledge that digital advertising must evolve to become less reliant on individual third-party data. That’s why we’ve been investing in a multi-year effort to build a portfolio of privacy-enhancing technologies and collaborate with the industry on these and other standards that will support this next era.
The privacy-enhancing technology includes cryptography and statistical techniques that will improve ad measurement while relying less on individual data.
We are optimistic that new privacy-enhancing technologies will prove that personalization remains possible and effective as our industry evolves to become less reliant on individual third-party data. These technologies will help us minimize the amount of personal information we process, while still allowing us to show people relevant ads and measure ad effectiveness for advertisers.
Another key area that the social giant is exploring is ‘on-device learning ’. It is a technology that will process data locally on their device rather than sending individual data to a remote server or cloud to determine the best ads for the user. The results are later sent in an anonymous format to the advertisers. However, Graham Mudd explained the challenge in an interview with The Verge,
I think one of the challenges with on-device learning is that the compute resources required to do it are obviously under the control of the operating systems themselves.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Facebook to get the systems right. Graham Mudd said that,
We definitely see that personalization will evolve very meaningfully over the course of the next five years. And that invest in Privacy-Focused will benefit all of our customers and enable us to help shape that future state of the ads ecosystem.
Facebook’s major changes come amidst government scrutiny and Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) update. Furthermore, even Google is exploring an advertising system that is more user-privacy-centric.
Apple’s new prompt to ask for permission to track the users for targeted ads is likely to hurt Facebook’s revenue growth. However, the true impact of prompt is still evolving and the report shows that not many iOS users are opting for app tracking. Therefore, this leads to a broad range of data tools that are required to attribute ad responses. Facebook is developing a new range of options on this front.
Providing more insight the social firm is working on privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) for ads that will minimize data collection, protect personal information while preserving ad measurements.
So, it is working to explore various ways to implement these approaches to new measurement solutions,
Last year we began testing our Private Lift Measurement solution with select partners, which uses a privacy-enhancing technology called secure multi-party computation. This helps advertisers understand how their campaigns are performing while adding extra layers of privacy to limit the information that can be learned by the advertiser or Facebook. This solution will be broadly available to advertisers next year.
To give you a brief, Secure multi-party computation (MPC) allows two or more organizations to work together while limiting the information that either party can learn. Data is encrypted end-to-end: while in transit, in storage, and in use, ensuring neither party can see the other’s data.
The social giant emphasizes that for these technologies to be successful, they will need industry cooperation.
These technologies will only be successful for people and businesses of all sizes if there is industry collaboration and a shared set of standards. That’s why we are calling on platforms, publishers, developers, and other industry participants to work together — on these technologies and other privacy-focused standards and practices.