Facebook is shutting down Partner Categories, which was a product that allowed third-party data providers to offer their targeting capabilities to Facebook advertisers.
This includes data aggregators like Experian and Acxiom that are able to provide clients with offline data to improve ad targeting, such as purchasing activity outside of Facebook.
This is a common industry practice, as Facebook itself has noted, but the company believes disabling Partner Categories will improve users’ privacy on Facebook.
To be sure, this change should certainly lead to less so-called “creepy” advertising on Facebook. You know, the ads that seem to be almost too perfectly targeted based on purchasing habits on other sites.
It’s also important to mention that this change comes amid the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. While Partner Categories were not directly related to the scandal, this is a move that may help restore users’ confidence that Facebook will protect their privacy going forward.