Facebook vice president for public policy, Elliot Schrage answers the New York Times' readers' questions about Facebook and personal privacy, including questions on the recent changes made in December '09 and April '10. Schrage reassures users that Facebook doesn't sell user names attached to data to advertisers.
What is the long-term plan to monetize Facebook’s huge traffic, and how will that impact user privacy? — Rachel W., submitted via Facebook
Advertising. Sponsorship. I think people still ask because the ads complement, rather than interrupt, the user experience. They think, “That can’t be it.” It is. The privacy implications of our ads, unfortunately, appear to be widely misunderstood. People assume we’re sharing or even selling data to advertisers. We’re not. We have no intention of doing so. If an advertiser targets someone interested in boats, we’ll serve ad impressions to people with ‘boats’ on their profile somewhere. However, we don’t provide the advertiser any names or other personal information about the Facebook users who view or even click on the ads. Anonymized demographically targeted ads work. We like them. You should, too. As a result, advertisers are willing to pay to reach this audience without needing personal data.
Read the article in its entirety here.