Instagram and Facebook Limit Advertisers’ Access to Teens’ Online Data

Instagram and Facebook Limit Advertisers’ Access to Teens’ Online Data

News by Anja PaspaljAnja Paspalj
Published: January 12, 2023

Meta has decided to limit how advertisers target young users on Instagram and Facebook. Personal data used to target teens will now be limited. Users under the age of 18 will also have the option to limit what kinds of ads they see on their social media platforms.

From February, advertisers will no longer be able to see a user’s gender or the types of posts they have interacted with as insight for targeted ads. Now, advertisers will only have access to a user’s age and location, deemed essential to know what products are available to users in a certain area.

Soon after implementing the changes, Instagram and Facebook will make new controls available to teens. They will be able to choose to “see less” of certain types of adverts in their “Settings”.

“We recognize that teens aren’t necessarily as equipped as adults to make decisions about how their online data is used for advertising, particularly when it comes to showing them products available to purchase,” stated Meta in a blog post.

They also noted, “For that reason, we’re further restricting the options advertisers have to reach teens, as well as the information we use to show ads to teens,”

In September of last year, following a two-year investigation headed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, Instagram was fined $405 million for violating kids’ privacy under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Meanwhile in 2021, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed in The Wall Street Journal that the company had research to prove that Instagram has a negative impact on the mental health of teenage girls.

This update to its advertising policy could be considered a step in a positive direction by Meta after already being forced to deal with its policy and the way it impacts teenagers.

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