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Radius Statement on Facebook Disabling Partner Categories Ad Targeting

As Radius customers may be aware, London-based data mining and analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) misused data from as many as 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook Policy

As a a result, and as part of broader efforts to improve user privacy, Facebook is changing its relationship with third-party data services. Facebook announced on March 21, 2018, that they are disabling a form of advertising targeting called Partner Categories, which allows third-party data aggregators, like Experian and Acxiom, to provide clients with offline-sourced data to inform ad targeting. Here is an excerpt from a statement made by Graham Mudd, Director, Product Marketing at Facebook, on March 28, 2018.

“We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

Facebook sets its own policies, but Radius wants to make it clear to our customers that Partner Categories targeting is not what led to the Cambridge Analytica breach. CA received the data it misused from a third-party app developer in violation of Facebook’s terms of service and without user permission.

Facebook's Ad-Targeting Data Sources

Facebook previously let advertisers target Facebook users by employing data from a number of sources.

  1. Facebook itself. This data includes information collected from from user activity and profiles. For example, you follow a local business on Facebook and based on that follower activity, the business shows you an ad on Facebook.

  2. Advertiser data. This data is proprietary to the advertiser. For example, you fill out a form on a company's website or subscribe to their newsletter to get a discount on your first order. The company uses this information to show you an ad on Facebook.

  3. Third-party data. This data is collected offline by third parties and used by Facebook to supplement its own data set for its customers who want to advertise there. For example, Experian (the third party) collects offline purchasing activity data. When a marketer (the second party) uses this Experian data to target and show you ads on Facebook, Facebook gives a portion of the money from the ad sale to Experian.

Key Takeaway for Radius Customers

The Radius Revenue Platform and Radius Advertiser let you use your own advertiser data, the second type of source described above, for ad targeting. Facebook's policy regarding third-party data providers does not affect Radius' ability to deploy audiences to Facebook either directly through our native integration or via LiveRamp through our Radius Advertiser product.

Radius wants to make sure our customers are well informed and confident when using our products and services. If you have any questions about the information provided here, please reach out to your Radius Customer Success Manager.  

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