UW Privacy Office

October 18, 2017

Colleges Use Facebook Ads to Target Applicants, Parents, and Lawmakers

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Colleges Use Facebook Ads to Target Applicants, Parents, and Lawmakers

(University of Virginia’s) “ads were fueled by the personal information, such as names and phone numbers, that students had provided on their applications for admission. Through the use of Facebook’s Custom Audiences advertising tool, that personal information was matched with user accounts, and resulted in microtargeted promotional ads or videos — sometimes strategically timed for the crucial period when an admitted student was deciding whether or not to enroll.

The approach is relatively cheap and often effective. At the same time, it has raised concerns among privacy advocates.”