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Deadlines approaching for Special Ad Category

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Today, we’re releasing Marketing API v6.0 and Graph API v6.0, and as part of this release, we want to remind developers on upcoming deadlines for Special Ad Categories.

We’re also introducing a new feature to read Page data and announcing API deprecations.

Ensure ads comply with Special Ad Category deadlines:

We’re committed to protecting people from discrimination on Facebook and, as part of this commitment, we announced changes last year to all ads that offer housing, employment and credit opportunities.

Advertisers, developers and partners must specify whether or not their ads offer housing, employment or credit opportunities. They can do so by selecting a Special Ad Category in Ads Manager or via the Marketing API, which will result in a limited set of targeting options.

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Last October, we announced several deadlines for businesses using the Marketing API, and there are now two critical deadlines approaching:

February 11, 2020:

  • All businesses located in the U.S. or targeting audiences in the U.S. will be required to identify any active campaigns that belong to a Special Ad Category that were created before Dec. 4, 2019. They will also need to update the targeting settings for such campaigns, or these ads will no longer be allowed to run.

March 31, 2020:

  • All businesses worldwide creating ads with any version of the Marketing API must identify whether or not new and edited campaigns belong to a Special Ad Category, or their ads will not be allowed to run.
  • Important Note: Businesses outside the US and targeting audiences outside the U.S. must also pass the Special Ad Category field, but can choose to opt-in or opt-out of targeting restrictions. Regardless of whether the campaign offers housing, employment, or credit opportunities, these businesses can either opt-out by indicating “None” in the Special Ad Category field or opt-in to Special Ad Category targeting by designating your ad as offering housing, employment, or credit opportunities.
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For more information, view our recent announcement or the developer documentation.

New feature for apps to read Page data:

We’re introducing Page Public Metadata Access, a new feature that allows apps to read a certain set of Page data. Prior to the launch of this new feature, all of the Page fields and edges required Page Public Content Access (PPCA) or the manage_pages permission. This feature is designed to provide the specific set of page-related data that we’ve seen developers accessing.

API deprecations:

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As part of our ongoing commitments to privacy and security, we are removing access to a number of APIs. A list of endpoints that will be removed from the platform can be found in the developer documentation, and you should review this list to see if your app is impacted. Existing apps using these APIs will no longer have access as of May 5, 2020.

Also, please be aware of the upcoming Marketing API version deprecations:

  • 3/31/2020 – Marketing API v4.0 deprecated.
  • 5/19/2020 – Marketing API v5.0 deprecated.

Facebook Developers

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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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