Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been in the crosshairs of the European Union and the United Kingdom for its privacy overreach and its personal data compilation of its millions of users. But for all that personal data compilation – which then is often used by advertisers and marketers – there seems to be a line that may be crossed recently among a particular demographic in the U.K.
Starting New Year’s Day, there were reports of many young British women suddenly seeing advertisements on their Facebook profile pages that referred to abortion services, some in the U.S. and others in the U.K. While there were some women who tried to take these in stride, there seemed to be others who questioned their interaction with Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) in terms of their status and their photos – most people know that Facebook develops targeted ads to users based on a certain algorithm – perhaps indicating to Facebook that they were pregnant and in the market for an abortion.
The author of this piece did note that the ads were targeting “young” women – presuming those at least 18 but also of child-bearing age (perhaps under 40). Whether that is enough to produce these ads on personal profiles is hard to say, especially since Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) doesn’t give way the secrets to its algorithm, even if one asks with a “pretty please with a cherry on top.” While the author didn’t have a problem with the abortion ads on the face, he indicated an uneasiness because of the personal nature of the ads. For example, abortion ads seen on a billboard or on television aren’t personal to the person seeing the ad; those are general audience ads meant for as many eyes as possible.
So what’s the big deal with these ads, then?