Google & Facebook Combine: Just in time for Halloween, a consumers' worst privacy nightmare
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 18 2013
The two largest data companies on the planet are joining forces, able to pool their vast troves of information to target consumers it raises privacy, consumer protection, and fair competition concerns that must be examined by the FTC, EU and others.
Facebook's Ad Exchange is a powerful targeting system that melds its own storehouse of user information with data from other data brokers. Google has now joined that private club. With Google and Facebook (and their brand and agency clients) contributing their vast data profiles, and access to our mobile phones, consumers will have no place to hide. This is a digital unholy alliance that will help make better one-stop shopping for the NSA!.
This deal should especially be reviewed by the FTC's compliance and privacy divisions, who are responsible for the agency's 20-year consent decrees with both Google and Facebook. They need to examine the datasets that will be pooled; the techniques used to profile, identifty, target and retarget users; and what offline and online data is being merged, etc. Then ensure the promises both Google and Facebook made to consumers through the decrees is truly enforced.
The public requires greater transparency and control over the Ad Exchange process--especially when the two leading data-driven targeting companes are in cahoots.