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If you use Facebook ads for your business (and who doesn’t?) you’re going to want to read this article. You’ve probably already heard about Cambridge Analytica, so I’m not going to go into detail about that here. What’s really important though, is an under the radar announcement Facebook made over the weekend.

In response to the scandal, Facebook is changing the terms of some of its popular advertising tools that will impact many businesses.


If you use Facebook Pixel or Custom Audiences you’ll need to make some changes before May 25 or risk having your page and ad accounts deactivated. 


man checking his phone and computer


Facebook Pixel Terms Update

The terms for using Facebook Pixel are changing in a couple of significant ways. First, a user or agency is not allowed to place the pixel code on a website they do not own.

There is an exception to this (and it sounds like a long shot), under the condition of having the express written consent of  Facebook.

The second major change to Pixel’s terms is an amendment that must be added to the privacy policy of the website it is installed on. You can find the exact verbiage you need to add here in section 3.2.1.

The gist of it is that Facebook may collect info from your site’s users. The privacy policy must also explain the opt-out process and provide a link for them to do so. In the terms, Facebook provided a link where users can opt-out:


Custom Audience Terms Update

There are a few ways to create Custom Audiences including page engagement, traffic from the Pixel, and uploaded data. The uploading of user data is the focus of the updated terms for Custom Audiences.

When you upload a list of names, phone numbers, or other customer data to Facebook, you must certify that those users have opted-in to having their personal data being used for this purpose.

Additionally, you must certify that the data was given to you directly by the people whose data you are uploading, and f you are uploading data on behalf of a Facebook advertiser you represent, the data must be uploaded directly into the ad account of the advertiser.

Yes, that means you are not allowed to purchase a list and attempt to create a Custom Audience with it.


You might say "Can I just have the original data collector give me access to their Custom Audience?"


Nope. The updated terms also say that you may not buy, sell, or otherwise transfer Custom Audiences, nor use them for an ad account that doesn’t represent the original collector of the user data.

You can find the complete text of all the new Custom Audience terms here.


terms and conditions


Don’t Rest Yet

While this is a major update to Facebook’s tools for businesses, don’t count on it being the last. There are likely to be many more changes as Zuckerberg continues to address privacy concerns brought up by the latest scandal.

Peter Cassetta
Peter Cassetta

As our Senior Software Engineer, Peter leads our development team on SPS DGTL Engage, a platform built to assist our engagement team in performing digital customer care for our clients. He's loved web development and programming since receiving a website for his 10th birthday. Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Computer Science from Texas State University.