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Lookalike audience for political campaigning

Request to:
Facebook Privacy Shield
Law used:
Privacy Shield
Status of this request:
Request awaits classification
Summary of Request
Dear Facebook, Please provide me with the legal basis for allowing political campaigns to use the "Lookalike audience" tool for targeting individuals. My understanding is that such use would not be allowed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the EU Data Privacy Directive 95/46/EC and their implementation in national laws of the Member States, in the circumstances where those texts are applicable. Indeed, they would constitute additional profiling for the purpose of political campaigning, done without obtaining explicit and informed consent of the data subjects included in the lookalike audience. This particular issue is independent of the consent provided by the seed audience, where some guidance has been given by national data protection authorities. Should Facebook agree that this use is not legal, please inform me of any technical restriction put on political campaigns for the use of this tool, or even training or documentation provided to advertisers going in this direction.

Messages in this request

From << Name Not Public >>
Subject Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26]
Date Nov. 27, 2016, 2:21 p.m.
To Facebook Privacy Shield
Status Awaiting response

Dear Facebook, Please provide me with the legal basis for allowing political campaigns to use the "Lookalike audience" tool for targeting individuals. My understanding is that such use would not be allowed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the EU Data Privacy Directive 95/46/EC and their implementation in national laws of the Member States, in the circumstances where those texts are applicable. Indeed, they would constitute additional profiling for the purpose of political campaigning, done without obtaining explicit and informed consent of the data subjects included in the lookalike audience. This particular issue is independent of the consent provided by the seed audience, where some guidance has been given by national data protection authorities. Should Facebook agree that this use is not legal, please inform me of any technical restriction put on political campaigns for the use of this tool, or even training or documentation provided to advertisers going in this direction.
[... Show complete request text] Kind Regards, << Name Not Public >>
  1. 1 year agoNov. 27, 2016, 2:21 p.m.: << Name Not Public >> sent a message to Facebook Privacy Shield.
From Facebook – Facebook Privacy Shield
Subject Re: Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26]
Date Nov. 27, 2016, 2:24 p.m.
Status Awaiting response

Hi, Thanks for contacting Facebook. The form you submitted is only for questions relating to Facebook's participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. If your question relates to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, we'll review your submission and respond accordingly. If you have a privacy question that doesn't relate to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, you can visit the Privacy Help Center page: https://www.facebook.com/help/2383181... The information on this page can help resolve many privacy-related questions, which include: - Controlling Your Privacy Settings - Controlling Who Can Find You - Privacy Policies and Internet Safety - Privacy Settings by Feature This page will also help you reach the team that is best equipped to answer your specific privacy question. For all other questions, please see the Help Center: https://www.facebook.com/help Thanks, Facebook
  1. 1 year agoNov. 27, 2016, 2:24 p.m.: Received an email from Facebook Privacy Shield.
  2. 1 year agoNov. 27, 2016, 11:28 p.m.: << Name Not Public >> made the request 'Lookalike audience for political campaigning' public.
From << Name Not Public >>
Subject Re: Re: Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26]
Date Jan. 10, 2017, 10:09 a.m.
To Facebook Privacy Shield

Dear Facebook, I still have not received a response to my request. Sincerely yours, << Name removed >> << Name removed >> Request Number: 26 Reply To: <<email address>> Post Address: << Name removed >> << Name removed >> << Address removed >>
-- Legal Note: This mail was sent through a Data Protection Portal. Replies might be published automatically.
  1. 11 months, 1 week agoJan. 10, 2017, 10:09 a.m.: << Name Not Public >> sent a message to Facebook Privacy Shield.
On Feb. 1, 2017, 11:38 p.m., Paul-Olivier Dehaye wrote:

I have now filed a direct Safe Harbor complaint with TRUSTe regarding this matter (#49143)

Write a comment
From Facebook – Facebook Privacy Shield
Subject Re: Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26]
Date March 17, 2017, 8:23 p.m.

Dear Mr << Name removed >> Thank you for your email. Before turning to your query, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify two important points. First, Facebook Ireland is the data controller of the personal data of Facebook users who reside outside of the United States of America and Canada. Facebook Ireland is subject to the jurisdiction of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, not TRUSTe. Second, under Irish and EU law, the right of access allows people to request a copy of their personal data and to clarify a number of specific and important points about how their data is being used. For example, people can ask a controller to clarify the purposes of the processing, the categories of data that are being processed and the recipients or categories of recipients of the data. However, the right of access does not give people a right to raise general queries about the ways in which a company processes personal data. As a result, we do not believe that we are under any legal obligation to respond to your questions about the technical operation of our lookalike product. That said, we strive to be as open as possible about how we our ads work and appreciate your interest in our platform. Therefore, we are happy to confirm that in Europe we simply do not allow advertisers to utilize sensitive personal data for advertising purposes, including through our lookalike product. Nor do we engage in “additional profiling” which entails the creation of sensitive personal data about individuals’ political beliefs. This is made clear in our Advertising Policy which notes that “we do not use sensitive personal data for ad targeting”. If you are interested, you can learn more about our lookalike product here: https://www.facebook.com/business/hel... We trust this resolves your query. Thanks, Bobby Facebook -----Original Message---- From: << Name removed >> << Name removed >> <<email address>> To: Facebook Subject: Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26] Dear Facebook, Please provide me with the legal basis for allowing political campaigns to use the "Lookalike audience" tool for targeting individuals. My understanding is that such use would not be allowed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the EU Data Privacy Directive 95/46/EC and their implementation in national laws of the Member States, in the circumstances where those texts are applicable. Indeed, they would constitute additional profiling for the purpose of political campaigning, done without obtaining explicit and informed consent of the data subjects included in the lookalike audience. This particular issue is independent of the consent provided by the seed audience, where some guidance has been given by national data protection authorities. Should Facebook agree that this use is not legal, please inform me of any technical restriction put on political campaigns for the use of this tool, or even training or documentation provided to advertisers going in this direction. << Name removed >> << Name removed >> <<email address>> Post Address: << Name removed >> << Name removed >> << Name removed >> << Name removed >>
-- Legal Note: This mail was sent through a Data Protection Portal. Replies might be published automatically. -----End Original Message-----
  1. 9 months agoMarch 17, 2017, 8:23 p.m.: Received an email from Facebook Privacy Shield.
From << Name Not Public >>
Subject Re: Re: Lookalike audience for political campaigning [#26]
Date April 10, 2017, 12:58 p.m.
To Facebook Privacy Shield

Dear Facebook, In their advice paper on special categories of data ("sensitive data"), the Working Party 29 said (top of page 6): """ The term “data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership” is to be understood that not only data which by its nature contains sensitive information is covered by this provision, but also data from which sensitive information with regard to an individual can be concluded. """ http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-prot... I understand that a lot of behaviours on Facebook can be revealing of attributes that would certainly be sensitive. The prototypical example is the research of Michal Kosinski and his associates, which shows that political opinion, ethnicity, gender, etc can be inferred from Facebook likes. I also understand that a company like Cambridge Analytica uses these likes, with the full knowledge of Facebook, to build models and profile voters. You state: """ we are happy to confirm that in Europe we simply do not allow advertisers to utilize sensitive personal data for advertising purposes, including through our lookalike product. Nor do we engage in “additional profiling” which entails the creation of sensitive personal data about individuals’ political beliefs. """ I understand this to mean that In Europe you do not allow politicians or their contractors to use the Lookalike Audience tool, or that the Lookalike tool (at least in Europe) does not use data that has been shown to be revealing of political opinion. Is this correct? Sincerely, << Name removed >> << Name removed >> Request Number: 26 Reply To: <<email address>> P ost Address: << Name removed >> << Name removed >> << Address removed >>
-- Legal Note: This mail was sent through a Data Protection Portal. Replies might be published automatically.
  1. 8 months, 1 week agoApril 10, 2017, 12:58 p.m.: << Name Not Public >> sent a message to Facebook Privacy Shield.