Facebook privacy drive may crimp some political campaigns

The changes unveiled by the huge social network following an outcry over the hijacking of data on 87 million Facebook members by Cambridge Analytica could be significant for campaigns.

Facebook privacy drive may crimp some political campaigns

World Bulletin / News Desk

Facebook's new focus on protecting private user data is likely to change the game for many campaigns, making it harder to deliver highly targeted, personal political messages.

The new privacy effort could limit "microtargeting" using the social network, a technique used successfully by Donald Trump's campaign in 2016 and others.

"Microtargeting is a big deal for campaigns, because they have to decide how they spend money and who they target," said Joseph Hall, chief technologist for the Center For Democracy & Technology. He is leading a research project on election privacy and security.

"Any clamping down on data collection is going to have a large effect on campaigns."

Microtargeting is not new -- marketing specialists used public records before the internet era -- but the trove of data from social networks, often combined with that of data brokers, has made it easier to identify population segments based on income, political affiliation and other factors.

Hall said that if Facebook clamps down on its user data to campaigns, "They won't be able to target on a granular basis. That's not a bad thing, but campaigns hate it because it costs more money."

Campaign consultants note that Facebook is not a source of voter data -- with the major exception of Cambridge Analytica -- but instead a targeting tool for ads based on data collected from other sources.

Last Mod: 29 Nisan 2018, 11:26
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