wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Facebook agrees to remove multiple targeting options for housing, employment, and credit card ads in the US

Facebool

Facebook will now remove ad targeting via age, gender and zip code for housing, employment, and credit card ads (HEC ads) as part of its settlement with American civil rights groups. ‘Multicultural affinity’ targeting and any other targeting option relating to protected groups will be removed. Facebook’s settlement was reached with civil liberty groups National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and others which had sued Facebook last year for allowing exclusion of users by race, disability, and other categories. It is illegal under US federal law for housing, job and credit advertisers to discriminate against protected groups.

The specific requirements in the settlement (find a copy at the bottom) are:

  • Facebook will create a separate advertising platform for housing, employment, and credit ads for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger that will have limited targeting options
  • The organisation will not have any targeting options relating to personal characteristics or protected groups, which include targeting options related to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, family status, disability, and sexual orientation
  • Advertisers cannot target users in a geographic area smaller than a 15-mile radius
  • Facebook’s “Lookalike Audience” tool can no longer consider gender, age, religious views, zip codes, Facebook Group membership to target such ads
  • If advertisers create ads independent/outside of the HEC ads portal, Facebook will block and re-route the advertiser via the portal
  • Facebook will build a searchable ads library for all active HEC ads in the US.

Apart from civil liberty groups, the US Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and civil rights leader Laura Murphy, had raised concerns regarding exclusion via ad targeting.

Housing, employment and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit. They should never be used to exclude or harm people.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg on the settlement

Facebook has previously said that it was being held to an unreasonably high standard, and that ads excluding users by age and gender were not discriminatory. “We completely reject the allegation that these advertisements are discriminatory,” Vice President of Ads Rob Goldman wrote in a December 2017. “Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: it helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Justice department’s complaint on housing ads discrimination

Facebook’s ads targeting policy and its resulting exclusion had made it to US Housing and Urban Development which filed a complaint against Facebook last year, accusing the company of housing discrimination and violation of the federal fair housing laws. The complaint was based on Facebook’s targeted ad tools such as “Boosts” and “Ad Manager”, which it said, has allowed discrimination by providing property owners and dealers with a mechanism to include some and exclude users.

“Platform, not publisher”: At the time, Facebook had said the its merely a a distribution platform, and not a publisher, and thus enjoys legal safe harbour protection. The Justice Department, however, had argued that Facebook is an “information content provider”, which means that it acts like a publisher to a certain extent. According to the US government, Facebook has contributed enough via its targeted ad tools for it to qualify as information content provider; it has developed and curated the content at hand, and not merely hosted it, hence making it liable.

Facebook’s settlement with ACLU, NFHA, CWA and others:

[embeddoc url=”https://www.medianama.com/wp-content/uploads/3.18.2019_joint_statement_final_0.pdf” download=”all”]

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

Due to the scale of regulatory and technical challenges, transparency reporting under the IT Rules has gotten off to a rocky start.

News

Here are possible reasons why Indians are not generating significant IAP revenues despite our download share crossing 30%.

News

This article addresses the legal and practical ambiguities in understanding the complex crypto ecosystem in India.

News

It is widely argued that the PDP Bill report seeks to discard the intermediary status of social media platforms but that may not be...

News

Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ