While Facebook’s working to reassure users that their personal data is safe in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company is also continuing its efforts to assure advertisers that the data it provides on ad reach and response is accurate.
To clarify the process – after a series of errors were discovered within their ad metrics, Facebook committed to a full MRC audit of their data in order to reassure advertisers that the information they’re receiving from Facebook is correct.
Those audits are focused on three separate areas:
- The MRC has now assessed News Feed served ad impressions "on desktop, mobile web, and mobile in application environments"
- The second element (in progress) will see the MRC audit the data Facebook shares with its third-party viewability measurement partners
- The third process will enable advertisers to buy ad space based on the MRC definition of a viewable impression, not Facebook's parameters (assuming they differ)
As of now, the first element is complete, with the MRC awarding accreditation to Facebook’s measurements on ad impressions. But as you might note, each process takes some time, so it’ll be a while before we see results from the other two.
Transparency and data accuracy have quickly become the focus for Facebook. With concerns around how people’s personal data could be misused, in conjunction with the above noted previous errors on ad metrics, trust in The Social Network is not exactly sky high at present. But Facebook has, to our knowledge, been transparent with all their errors, and the first stage of the MRC audit confirms that they do have defensible practices in place.
It’s a small step in the broader scheme, but confirmation from the MRC should help provide assurance to marketers, and can be added to various measures Facebook will need to take to win back broader trust.