Last week, as reported, Facebook introduced its latest set of proposed changes to its governing documents: its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
With the changes, it has been revealed that Facebook can easily use your data to serve you ads outside of Facebook, which would obviously be crucial for building an AdSense-like ad network.
While Facebook has not announced any new product of the sort, it has been long expected, and seems like only the next likely progression in Facebook's revenue seeking strategy.
Forbes highlights the the relevant changes to the Data Use Policy in two major points:
Facebook used to keep data it received about you from advertisers and third parties for 180 days; now they say they’ll keep it for as long as necessary to provide you with a service. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan says that means that if Zynga tells Facebook who their top scoring players are in order to target them with ads, Facebook erases that information as soon as the ad campaign is over. But if Zynga were to post information about its top scoring players on its wall, Facebook is not going to take it down within 180 days.
Facebook makes it clearer that it can use information about you to display ads to you outside of Facebook. The policy previously stated that the company could serve ads with a social context outside of Facebook. Now it makes it clear they can serve any kinds of ads they want. “Everything you do and say on Facebook can be used to serve you ads,” says Egan. “Our policy says that we can advertise services to you off of Facebook based on data we have on Facebook.”
Take a moment to let that last quote sink in. "Everything you do and say on Facebook can be used to serve you ads...off of Facebook..." Anything.
That has to account for some incredible targeting capabilities that could have Google on edge. Facebook, at last count, had over 1.01 billion active users.