| SAN FRANCISCO, June 12
SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 Facebook Inc is
expanding the internal user profiles that underpin its targeted
advertising system, for the first time including personal
information based on activities that did not occur within the
boundaries of its social network.
While Facebook has long maintained internal profiles of
users based on the comments they make and the posts that they
"like" within its social network, the company will now flesh out
those profiles with information based on some of the external
websites and mobile apps its members use, a move that could
further inflame concerns about how it treats personal privacy.
The enhanced profiles will allow marketers to deliver more
relevant ads, Facebook said in a blog post announcing the change
on Thursday. If a Facebook user researches a new television on
an external website or inside of a mobile app, their profile
might now indicate an interest in televisions and in
electronics, making it easier for advertisers pitching
electronic devices to reach that user on Facebook.
Facebook already has access to much of this information
through tools that it uses to measure the performance of its ads
as well as through "plug-ins" that integrate Facebook features
on third-party websites, but the company has not until now
incorporated the data into its users' ad targeting profiles.
To quell potential privacy concerns, Facebook will for the
first time give users the ability to review and edit their
internal advertising profiles. By clicking on a button alongside
Facebook ads, a user can see all the "interests" on their
record, remove unwanted categories and add any desired
Facebook said it will also provide a link to an industry
website that will allow users to not have their activities on
websites tracked, as well as a link to the appropriate controls
within their smartphones to eliminate mobile app tracking.
The new ad capabilities come as Facebook strives to ramp up
its advertising revenue amid competition from Google Inc
while addressing persistent concerns about
personal privacy on the world's No.1 social network.
In April, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced
new features that lets users limit how much personal information
they share with third-party mobile apps.
Facebook, Google and other online companies have faced
increasing scrutiny and enforcement from privacy regulators as
consumers entrust ever-increasing amounts of information about
their personal lives to Web services.
In 2012, Facebook settled privacy charges with the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission that it had deceived consumers and
forced them to share more personal information than they
intended. Under the settlement, Facebook is required to get user
consent for certain changes to its privacy settings and is
subject to 20 years of independent audits.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Bernard Orr)