Facebook will start offering advertisers user contact information to target their ads, but the company says that it will make sure the personal information is first encrypted before delivered to advertisers.
The new development was first noticed by Inside Facebook when it temporarily went live. But when contacted about the new service to advertisers, Facebook said it would ensure user privacy, according to TechCrunch. A Facebook spokesperson said that the information is culled from a customer list the business has already created and then uploaded to Facebook. The information is then compared to Facebook user IDs.
However, Facebook said, all information will be "hashed" or encrypted, so there's no direct peeks at user information (and if you believe that, we have some Facebook stock to sell you.) Businesses will then be given the option to target ads to those Facebook users or do go after a certain demographic. But Facebook said that these companies wouldn't have any direct access to additional user data. The feature will be rolled out next week.
There's not much users can do to opt-out of this feature except to go into their account settings and start deleting phone numbers and email addresses. But if you're a sharp Facebook users, you have probably have done that already.