Facebook Now Knows What You're Buying at Drug Stores (updated)

Rebecca Greenfield writes:

In an attempt to give advertisers more information about the effectiveness of ads, Facebook has partnered with Datalogix, a company that “can track whether people who see ads on the social networking site end up buying those products in stores,” as The Financial Times‘s Emily Steel and April Dembosky explainAdvertisers have complained that Facebook doesn’t give them any way to see if ads lead to buying. This new partnership is their response, as it connects real-life buying with ads seen on the site. Specifically, the service links up the 70 million households worth of purchasing information that Datalogix has with these buyers’ Facebook profiles. Using that, they can compare the ads you see with the stuff you buy and tell advertisers whether their ads are working. Up until now, the social network has been limited to only tracking your Internet life (on and off Facebook.com) with its ubiquitous “like” buttons, but as promised, the future of Facebook is more focused on data, including tracking our offline habits.

Specifically, Datalogix gets its information from retailers like grocery stores and drug stores who keep careful records of what its customers who use its loyalty discount programs are buying. Datalogix’s site doesn’t list its partners, but from a Google search, it looks like the company has worked with CVS’s ExtraCare card program. Datalogix matches the email addresses and other identifying information in those databases to Facebook accounts.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire.

Update: See CVS’s response to the Atlantic Wire report here.

About the author: Dissent

2 comments to “Facebook Now Knows What You're Buying at Drug Stores (updated)”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. Anonymous - September 25, 2012

    So, I don’t think this is as bad as it sounds… and I wish FB were doing a better job explaining what they’re actually doing here. (I hesitate to explain my understanding of how this works after talking with FB because I’d really rather they describe it in detail, not me.)

    • Anonymous - September 25, 2012

      I see EPIC is already calling for the FTC to examine this in light of the settlement terms. Once again, FB seems behind the 8-ball in terms of presenting its actions and explaining them.

Comments are closed.