BAH blog featured image rainbow succulent Breaking Down Three Facebook Advertising Privacy Issues

Breaking Down Three Facebook Advertising Privacy Issues


By 2021, you should be aware of three significant and recent controversies if you advertise on Facebook. Three Facebook advertising privacy issues include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Apple iOS 14 privacy policy, and WhatsApp privacy changes. Read about how these controversies will impact Facebook advertising. 

This blog post is to help those who have a difficult time understanding each privacy issue. I will include the links to the primary source for detailed explanations.

GDPR and Facebook Advertising

What does GDPR stand for? 

General Data Protection Regulation

What is the purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation?

GDPR protects people’s personal data in the European Union (EU). Those who violate the GDPR are fined. 

The GDPR was effective as of May 25, 2018.

What are the seven principles of GDPR?

1| Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency

2| Purpose limitation

3| Data minimization

4| Accuracy

5| Storage limitation

6| Integrity and confidentiality 

7| Accountability

GDPR compliance

Here is what you can include to show your business is GDPR compliant: 

  • Data protection responsibilities
  • Detailed documentation of the data collected, how it is used, where it is stored, which employee is responsible
  • Technical and organizational security measures
  • Data processing agreement contracts for third parties that handle your data collection
  • Appoint a data protection officer, if required

When do you need a Data Protection Officer (DPO)?

  • The owner, CEO, or human resources designates an officer based on the size of their organization
  • The job primarily monitors large amounts of people 
  • There is the processing of special categories of personal data or data relating to criminal convictions and offenses

GDPR rights

In a simplified and easy-to-read version, parties in the EU have the right:

  • To be informed
  • To obtain confirmation whether his or her personal data is being processed
  • To be provided where the personal data is being collected from at the time of collection
  • To be forgotten, if the data is no longer be used for the purpose of initially collecting it
  • To correct their information 
  • To restrict processing
  • To data portability
  • To object
  • To be subject to a decision based on automated decision making and profiling

Processing data

Data is allowed to be processed when parties in the EU:

  • Give consent
  • Enter into a contract
  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Save somebody’s life
  • Perform a task in the public interest

What to expect when you use Facebook ads for your business and avoid the GDPR.

Consider not advertising in Europe unless you have specific intentions to have customers or clients in the EU.

Read more about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on their website here.

See below to download a mind map PDF printable to organize your thoughts on Facebook advertising privacy concerns.

Claim your free Facebook advertising privacy concerns mind map printable here.

Apple Privacy Policy and Facebook

Privacy practices information 

Apple will soon require businesses to have privacy practices information in App Store Connect.

Apple devices with iOS 14:

iOS 14

iPadOS 14

tvOS 14

APPLE iOS 14 Privacy Update

Apple iOS 14 users will need to give permission through the AppTrackingTransparency framework to track or access their information.

Examples of tracking

  • Targeted ads based on the data collected
  • Sharing device location
  • Sharing information with a third-party advertising network for retargeting
  • Using an analytics Software Developer Kit (SDK) to repurpose data to help with ad targeting

What to expect when you use Facebook ads for your business.

Audience sizes (the number of people you can reach) may decrease.

Read more about the Apple iOS 14 privacy policy update on their website here.

WhatsApp Business and Facebook

WhatsApp privacy changes explained. Think of the changes as business option additions more than privacy changes.

WhatsApp privacy changes 2021

Enabling customer service- chat with a business about their products on Facebook

Discovering a business- when you make an action with a business on Facebook, Facebook may use those actions (clicks) to personalize the ads you see

Shopping experiences- data shared with Facebook, to let customers shop your products on Facebook through WhatsApp 

WhatsApp Business messaging

Messages (personal conversations) will still be protected with end-to-end encryption.

What does end-to-end encryption mean?

  • No message or call logs
  • WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see shared location
  • Contacts are not shared with Facebook
  • WhatsApp groups are private
  • You can set your messages to disappear

Clarifying WhatsApp changes 2021

The changes are for WhatsApp Business, not WhatsApp. At this time, the new business options are currently not available until May 15, 2021. 

Until then, WhatsApp is spending the time clarifying the misinformation about the privacy concerns.

What to expect with WhatsApp Facebook ads.

Conversations are still private, but the clickable actions customers take may be shared for personalized ad purposes. 

Read more about WhatsApp changes on their website here.

Final Thoughts

Privacy concerns make an enormous impact on society. It helps to understand and receive the most accurate information, which is key to creating strategies that don’t waste your time. 

Is there another Facebook advertising privacy issue out there? Please tell us in the comments below!

Don’t forget your free privacy concerns mind map printable PDF here.

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