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Facebook using offline purchase history to target ads


Next time you comment on Facebook – remember your insurance company is watching you – and may deny you home, medical or holiday insurance, because of something you’ve said, in a totally different context.

In the coming months Facebook users may start to see advertisements with an eerie similarity to their spending habits. The social media giant has announced new partnerships with companies that collect a variety of data on people through their purchases.

Chief among Facebook’s new allies is Datalogix, which purportedly has access to information on more than 100 million Americans. Datalogix’ website states that the company has data on “almost every US household and more than $1 trillion in consumer transactions” in fields ranging from college tuition to over-the-counter medication.

Acxiom, another new partner, scours data from court records, financial service companies and government documents. Last year The New York Times reported that both companies were under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which sought to identify how Acxiom and Datalogix found and used customer data.

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