Facebook Announces Investment In Privacy Research


Changes to digital advertising and increased demand for online privacy have affected marketers and their platforms. Looking at the newest King Kong SEO review and other digital marketing material will make the changes clear as day.

Facebook has heard the music, recently announcing their investment in research aimed at improving privacy (Privacy Enhancing Technology) via academics, global organizations, as well as developers.

The shift in Facebook’s priorities has a clear source: Apple’s iOS14 update, which resulted in advertisers losing a lot of data that they use to better target users. Facebook was one of the major platforms for ads, so many are saying that this investment wasn’t surprising.

The goal of these new technologies is to identify or develop better methods of data tracking which will provide anonymous and aggregated data to Facebook, while also maintaining the privacy of users.

What are PETs?

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs) help protect users’ personal info by minimising the amount of their data that gets processed, striking a balance between advertisers’ need for data, and users’ demand for privacy.

Facebook opted to invest in 3 primary PETs:

  • Multi-party computation and Private Lift Enhancement, which calculates data from multiple parties to calculate outcomes without divulging user data.
  • On-device learning, which tracks data on the device itself, which then trains an algorithm regarding habits and likely future decisions.
  • Differential privacy, which looks at the noise in data sets, and anonymises it with small changes. This particular PET isn’t new, as it’s been the standard for public research for quite some time.

Facebook hasn’t given an exact timeline regarding changes from these investments, but they did say it’s a multi-year endeavour. Advertisers are expecting only minor changes, if any, in the immediate future.

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