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Continued Progress in Transparency

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Today, we are releasing our latest Transparency Report for the first half of 2019.

At Facebook, we strive to be open and proactive in the way we safeguard users’ privacy, security and access to information online. That’s why we have published a transparency report each half since 2013. The scope of this report initially focused on the nature and extent of government requests we receive for user data. In the time since, we have expanded our report to include the volume of content restrictions based on local law, the number of global internet disruptions that limit access to our products and reports of intellectual property infringement.

Our Transparency Report also includes the fourth Community Standards Enforcement Report, which covers data on how we take action on violating content across our platforms. Guy Rosen, our VP of Integrity, goes in depth on these numbers in his post here.

Government Requests for User Data

In the first half of 2019, government requests for user data increased by 16% from 110,634 to 128,617. Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, the UK, Germany and France.

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In the US, we received 50,741 requests, representing an increase of 23% more requests than last half, which is consistent with trends over time. Of all US requests, 66% included a non-disclosure order prohibiting Facebook from notifying the user. In addition, as a result of transparency updates introduced in the 2016 USA Freedom Act, the US government lifted the non-disclosure orders on 11 National Security Letters (NSLs) we received between 2014 and 2018. These requests, along with the US government’s authorization letters, are available below. Lastly, we’ve completed the internal review of our US national security reporting metrics and we continue to review our systems to ensure our accounting is consistent.

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As we have said in prior reports, we always scrutinize every government request we receive for account data to make sure it is legally valid. This is true no matter which government makes the request. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary. We do not provide governments with “back doors” to people’s information.

Content Restrictions

When content is reported as violating local law, but doesn’t go against our Community Standards, we may limit access to that content in the country where it is allegedly illegal. During this reporting period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law decreased globally by 50% from 35,972 to 17,807. This decrease follows an unusual spike last half in which we restricted 16,600 items in India based on a Delhi High Court order. Of the total volume, 58% of restrictions originated from Pakistan and Mexico.

Internet Disruptions

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Because we believe that disrupting internet connectivity can undermine economic activity and free expression, we also monitor and report on the number of deliberate internet disruptions caused by governments around the world that impact the availability of our products. During this reporting period, we identified 67 disruptions of Facebook services in fifteen countries, compared to 53 disruptions in nine countries in the second half of 2018.

Intellectual Property

Finally, we continue to report on the volume and nature of copyright, trademark and counterfeit reports we receive each half — as well as the amount of content affected by those reports. During this reporting period, we took down 3,234,393 pieces of content based on 568,836 copyright reports, 255,222 pieces of content based on 96,501 trademark reports and 821,727 pieces of content based on 101,582 counterfeit reports.

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Publishing this report reflects our ongoing commitment to transparency as we work to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

You can see the full report for more information.

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The post Continued Progress in Transparency appeared first on About Facebook.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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