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Facebook severs ties with data brokers for ad targeting

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Facebook severs ties with data brokers for ad targeting

Facebook Inc. is cutting ties with third-party data brokers that advertisers tap to target ads on the platform, in a bid to improve the privacy of its users' data, Reuters reported.

Graham Mudd, a Facebook product marketing director, said the "common industry practice" of hiring the services of data providers to help target ads will be wound down over the next six months.

Advertisers, however, would still be able to rely on data brokers for measuring the performance of their ads based on purchasing data, according to the report.

Facebook said on its website that it has worked with data providers such as Acxiom Corp., Experian PLC, Oracle Corp.'s Oracle Data Cloud, TransUnion and WPP PLC.

The social networking giant's latest move came after it drew flak over the alleged misuse of its user data by London-based political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica LLC and other third parties. These data included those there were voluntarily provided to a personality test app created by University of Cambridge Professor Aleksandr Kogan.

Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that his company made mistakes regarding user privacy and outlined the steps it plans to take to restore users' trust. He will reportedly be testifying in the coming weeks on the matter.

The company recently introduced changes to make it easier for users to find privacy controls. These include the removal of outdated settings and a redesign of its settings menu on mobile devices. It also launched a new privacy shortcuts menu that guides users in securing their accounts, controlling personal information, controlling the ads they see and managing who can access their posts and profile information.