Ecole d'ingénieur et centre de recherche en Sciences du numérique

Seminar: Investigating Ad Transparency Mechanisms in Social Media: A Case Study of Facebook’s Explanations

Andreou Thanos - PhD Student Data Science

Date: 8 février 2018

Abstract: Targeted advertising has been subject to many privacy complaints from both users and policy makers. Despite this attention, users still have little understanding of what data the advertising platforms have about them and why they are shown particular ads. To address such concerns, Facebook recently introduced two transparency mechanisms: a “Why am I seeing this?” button that provides users with an explanation of why they were shown a particular ad (ad explanations), and an Ad Preferences Page that provides users with a list of attributes Facebook has inferred about them and how (data explanations). However, further investigation shows that ad explanations are often incomplete and sometimes misleading while data explanations are often incomplete and vague. This findings have significant implications for users, policy makers, and regulators as social media advertising services mature. Bio: Athanasios (Thanos) Andreou is a PhD student at Eurecom. He focuses on privacy and transparency in social media, and especially in targeted advertising in such platforms.

Investigating Ad Transparency Mechanisms in Social Media: A Case Study of Facebook’s Explanations

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