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Users Tracked by Brands Through the New Atlas Ad Platform on Facebook

Facebook has launched a brand new ad platform called Atlas. The aim of this platform is to allow brands to track the users around the web and not only on Facebook. This means that Facebook now knows more about the life of its users than Google and is not wasting that information. The global social network is selling this data to advertisers that want to offer their products and services to target audience.

The New FaceBook Ad Platform

Atlas is the name of the new ad platform of Facebook and it was launched in New York on Monday, before the start of the Advertising Week. For quite some time now Facebook is using the likes and the demographic location to present relevant ads to the different users in their News Feed. Now Atlas takes these ads on a higher level by covering the global network.

How does Atlas work?

By visiting certain websites on their computers, the users get cookies attached to their computers which track the pages they are looking at. Later, these same users get ads in connections with the things they were searching for through the search engines in internet. Unfortunately for the brands, these cookies however do not work on mobiles, so the advertising companies were trying hard to find out what the users are looking at on their mobiles.facebook-ad-platform

Atlas, the new ad platform makes this possible. Through that platform, Facebook can now track the browsing activity of the user when this user is logged in to the network but is not actually using it. The Atlas platform can show the user different ads on third party sites. To sum it up, now the Facebook login is much more useful to the companies than the cookies.

The new ad platform Atlas is now providing the media companies and the brands who work with them information about the Facebook users. Omnicom is the first major partner of the new platform and this is a company with Intel and Pepsi as their clients.

Since Instrgram is also working with the Atlas platform, the advertisers can track the photo-sharing application as well.

Privacy Preferences Management
Facebook users do not approve the fact that the social network can use their personal information and browsing activity to offer them ads all over the internet. They can do several things to avoid that and protect their privacy.

The users can check why Facebook is showing them specific ads by finding the News Feed and by clicking on the dropdown arrow, then select “Why am I seeing this” and manage the ad preferences.

Facebook has a lot of information on every one of us based on the location, the device we use to access the social network, the pages we like, the relationship status we have. All that information can be removed. The users should know however that even if they change their ad preferences, Facebook will still show them ads, though they will not be based on the users’ personal information.

The Facebook users can use opt-out page on the Digital Advertising Alliance. The Android and iOS devices further have settings that allow the users to manage their web-tracking preferences. Users should also be aware that their activities are also monitored by Google through Gmail, aiming to provide relevant ads. In other words, by using the Internet today, the users are paying with their privacy to get free services.


Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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