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How the GDPR Impacts Facebook Advertising

The GDPR has become a hot topic of discussion recently as it has significantly changed the way businesses collect personal data. This is an issue which everyone with an online presence should be aware of, as failing to act could potentially have legal ramifications. With the majority of brands having a Facebook page, how does the GDPR impact Facebook advertising?

What is the GDPR?

From May this year we saw the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) come into effect. This regulation is aimed at protecting the data of those who live in countries which are located in the European Union (EU). The GDPR protects a wide range of personal information including legal identification, addresses, birthdays, IP addresses, emails, medical records and financial details. While this may be a regulation for those in the European Union, it doesn’t mean businesses outside of the region are exempt. Every company in the world is required to comply with the legislation when dealing with EU nationals.

As the internet is global it is a smart idea to understand how the GDPR works and how it might impact your business practices. This means asking for permission rather than taking data and expecting them to opt out. For example, automatically subscribing your website visitors to your newsletter list would be a breach of this rule.

Regardless, it is smart to protect your customers and in a time when everyone is concerned about privacy it will give you a competitive edge when you genuinely make data protection a priority.

How This Impacts Facebook Advertising

Most businesses have a Facebook page, and if you don’t some of your potential customers will probably wonder why not. The GDPR goes a little further than just the basic data protection you may expect, and actually has an impact on social media. Any user generated data such as a Facebook update and uploaded images are now protected. Facebook may not have been the greatest at data protection lately but they are now making an effort to be more transparent.

Again, if you don’t have an EU following this may not be a big deal to you. However, Facebook dominates worldwide and being a part of the platform does come with some new conditions. Instead of hiding behind algorithms and buzz words, Facebook now make a concerted effort to allow members  to understand how their information is being used. This is also true for advertisers who are now required to let their targeted users know what data is being collected and why. While Facebook are taking their own measures to enforce the GDPR, it is the responsibility of each individual business who is using their platform to follow the rules.

Even the Facebook Pixel will be impacted as it is no longer a discreet way of collecting data and targeting potential shoppers. You may have even already noticed a pop up bar on certain websites asking for consent.

Don’t Forget

Simply put, when dealing with anyone located within the European Union, the number one rule is to ask for permission before using or collecting their data in any way. While these measures may not have legal implications in other countries, when you show your customers you care about their privacy it will go a long way in increasing brand loyalty.