Facebook ending its relationships with third-party data brokers

In a major shift in their advertising platform, Facebook has announced that it will be shutting down its Partner Categories program. This is the program that saw data brokers offer their customer targeting on Facebook based on data collected on customers through a variety of sources.

Facebook announced this change in a short post in its newsroom, framing it as a way of improving user privacy:

We want to let advertisers know that we will be shutting down Partner Categories. This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on 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.

It's certainly an interesting move for Facebook, coming in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But just because these data brokers will no longer be offering their services through Facebook doesn't mean that their products are now less valuable to other companies. You'll still want to take steps to remove your information from their databases where possible if you want to prevent it from going elsewhere.