Facebook's newest partnership will not allay the fears of anyone worried the company is going to get increasingly nosy in order turn a profit. The social-networking behemoth has a new partnership with an organization called Datalogix, which tracks millions of Americans' spending habits with loyalty cards at more than 1,000 retailers.
How it works is pretty simple and unseemly: Datalogix uses information obtained through loyal-shopper programs—email addresses and other identifying data—to match up customers with their Facebook accounts. That process allows Facebook advertisers, who have long wondered if Facebook ads lead to purchases, to have some sense of whether their advertising is actually driving spending. So far, according to a report in the Financial Times, the partnership has worked wonderfully.
Facebook said it is paying Datalogix for the data-matching. So far, the two companies have measured 45 campaigns and in 70 per cent of cases, for every dollar a marketer spent on Facebook it earned an additional $3 in incremental sales.
Good for Facebook and Datalogix. If, on the other hand, you'd prefer Facebook to not know when you buy toilet paper or tampons at a CVS, here's how to opt out of their weird tracking (as you can imagine, finding out on Facebook how to opt out is a Byzantine process): Just go to this page and, under "Choice," click the opt out link. Or just kill your Facebook account altogether, which is probably the better idea.