Facebook to label ads that follow you around the Web

If you start to notice a little blue icon near ads on your Facebook page -- it means that an advertiser is tracking your every click.

An advertisement promoting the "AdChoices" logo. Digital Advertising Alliance

Facebook advertisers will soon label and identify which ads use information from outside Facebook to target you -- at least, if they choose to.

The blue "AdChoices" -- developed by a coalition of advertisers and marketers specifically to show consumers when they are looking at targeted ads using third-party information -- will make its appearance after months of complaints from ad agencies and advertisers, AdAge reported today.

Although this is meant to make this type of advertising more transparent, users won't see the icon unless they try to opt out of the ad.

Facebook confirmed the change, which the company plans to implement by the the end of March. This doesn't necessarily mean all of these third-party data ads will have the icon -- the choice to label them is up to each advertiser, according to Facebook.

The ads, which appear on the right-hand side along with other Facebook ads, are a result of Facebook tracking the sites you go to and what products you look at to determine which ad should go on your profile (like when those pair of shoes you were looking at on another site pops up on Facebook as an advertisement).

Facebook has always had an opt-out option for these ads, which come from the Facebook Exchange (FBX) program, but it's not always obvious to users. To opt out, users have to click the little "x" that shows up when you hover your mouse over it and choose from a number of options, including hiding the ad or reporting it.

Now when customers opt out, the AdChoice icon will show up as well.

"We have always given our users the ability to provide feedback on and control the ads they see on Facebook, by hiding, reporting, or clicking through to learn more about why particular ads are being served," Director of Product Marketing Brian Boland said in a statement. "This is no different for ads served through the Facebook Exchange, where users can also opt out of seeing ads from our FBX partners. Giving advertisers the ability to implement the AdChoices icon provides another option, another mechanism of control."

 

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