Facebook to point out behaviorally targeted ads

If you've ever been creeped out by those targeted ads on Facebook, they're about to be a touch easier to spot. The social network has agreed with the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program to start displaying the "AdChoice" icon (the image above) in behaviorally targeted Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads, but only when users roll over a gray "x" above the ad. Not only will this let them know the ad is marketed to them based on browser behavior, but it'll let them opt out of that specific ad network. Facebook'll also replace the "Report this ad" hover text with a more descriptive phrase like "Learn about Facebook Ads."

However, it's unclear if this is in complete compliance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines for "clear and prominent notice" since the ads still require user interaction to reveal their targeted nature. In an emailed statement from Facebook, Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said: "At Facebook, we work hard to build transparency and control into each of our products, including our advertising offerings." Whether you agree with that or not, you'll start seeing the AdChoice implementation in desktop FBX ads at the end of March.