"No. Our product is social media- the ability to connect with the people that matter to you, wherever they are in the world", Facebook said.
Much like your Interests, you can hide advertisers here by hovering over their thumbnail and clicking the X. By refreshing the page after clicking X, you'll also be able to view the hidden advertisers in one of the tabs on this section. It also reminds users that they can check their ad preferences and remove their interests if they want.
In this instance, Facebook provides the advertiser with reports about the types of people seeing their ad and how the ad is performing but not personally identifiable information about you.
"You cannot opt out of ads altogether because ads are what keep Facebook free, but you do have different options to control how your data can and cannot be used to show you ads". The question of a paid version of Facebook came up a fews day before his testimony when Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg suggested that if people want it ad-free, Facebook might have to start charging a subscription fee.
Third, and this is the most controversial, Facebook admits it knows which apps and websites its users are visiting in order to show them relevant ads.
Another method of advertising involves the advertiser bringing information about a customer to them. In ad preferences you can see which advertisers with your contact information are now running campaigns - and you can click the top right corner of any ad to hide all ads from that business. The scandal over the user data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, or the string of privacy or misinformation scandals before that, won't erode Facebook's magic overnight.
All of this might sound assuring to some people, but Facebook has been half-heartedly addressing the primary concern that the company was careless when an outsider took advantage of their flawed policies and scooped people's data.
Goldman tried to explain why Facebook needs to store so much personal data about users, arguing that it was how the social media company researches to "give you a better service". "When an advertiser runs a campaign on Facebook, we share reports about the performance of their ad campaign", said Goldman.
Brian Wieser, a senior research analyst for advertising at Pivotal Research Group, said his conversations with marketers indicate none have plans to cut ads from Facebook so far.
What I found actually opened me to the idea of maybe trusting Facebook again. It's the same with a free search engine, website or newspaper. Saying that "data also helps us show you better and more relevant ads".
If users hit a "like" button on The Guardian, they likely do not realize Facebook is capturing their data.
I think the hearings were a missed opportunity to discuss a phenomenon that I and others have experienced: ads appearing for products just discussed in conversations.
Overall, Facebook digital ad revenue overall is surging, but growth is slowing down.
Meanwhile, UK journalist and consumer campaigner Martin Lewis is urging Facebook to use facial recognition to scan the site for advertisements fraudulently using celebrities' images - including his own - to sell dubious products and services. "And it lets a non-profit promote a diabetes fundraiser to those interested in the cause", the post noted. And for small businesses, it levels the playing field and lets them reach an audience that they never could have before. Doing so means, for example, that you won't get an ad on Facebook for a pair of shoes you just looked at on a shopping website, though you'll still get generic ads.