(Reuters) — Facebook said on Wednesday it would end its partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target people on the social network, a step that follows a scandal over how Facebook handles personal information.
The world’s largest social media company is under pressure to improve its handling of data after disclosing that information about 50 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook adjusted the privacy settings on its service on Wednesday, giving users control over their personal information in fewer taps.
Facebook has for years given advertisers the option of targeting their ads based on data collected by companies such as Acxiom and Experian.
The tool has been widely used among certain categories of advertisers – such as automakers, luxury goods producers and consumer packaged goods companies – who do not sell directly to consumers and have relatively little information about who their customers are, according to Facebook.
“While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook,” Graham Mudd, a Facebook product marketing director, said in a statement.
Shares in Acxiom traded down more than 10 percent to $25 after Facebook’s announcement after the bell. Shares in other data brokers were largely unchanged. A representative for Acxiom could not immediately be reached for comment.
Facebook declined to comment on how the change could affect its ad revenue.
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