I learned that because I own a handful of shares of Arconic, which is a company in the midst of a hostile takeover attempt. I was rather curious how FB figured that out... but both sides know my identity, and apparently whatever I agreed to when I opened a brokerage account included giving my identity to companies I invest in, and them giving it to activist investors, and the company/investors giving it to social networks.
My understanding is that in the US at least, it's common for both parties to attempt to maintain complete databases of all voters, so it's feasible for them to select individual ad targets themselves and just give FB the names.
This guy pranked his roommate with targeted Facebook ads - http://ghostinfluence.com/the-ultimate-retaliation-pranking-...
You can build up a whole chain of audiences. For example, if you watch a video ad, you can then be targeted. If you, say, click a link as part of that audience, you can find yourself inside an even tighter targeted audience. At that point, you're considered hot. Before you know it, you could be buying a product. At which point, you're in another audience still, tempting you to buy again!
In fact, with this type of targeting, interest and demographic based targeting doesn't even come close. You can, however, target all the people, at each step in your funnel, who "look like" people who wanna buy (have the same interests, age, gender). These get fed back into the top of your targeting funnel and so it goes.
As for the UK GE, I'm not seeing this type of targeting so I think they may be stuck in the "old" interest-based model of FB advertising.
edit: and it probably wasn't the class action you're thinking of :)
Facebook is very different. There was apparently a lot of very sophisticated targeting going on for Brexit.
(There are a number of conservative MPs under investigation by the police for violating spending limits, plus a developing story about money laundering from HSBC: https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/28/breaking-dark-money-hsbc... )
I'm not saying there isn't any utility, but I don't think it's obvious enough from reading the front page of the site.
From the Guardian article :
"It aims to show who campaigns are targeting, how much the parties are spending and will shed light on whether targeted adverts are crossing the boundary into 'fake news'."
Why would you trust your Facebook account (or any other account) to a random stranger on the internet you've never met, heard of, or even seen? Whose real name you probably don't even know?
It's worth nothing that everyone who works at Facebook, including the CEO, are random strangers. That I know (some of) their names doesn't help me sleep well at night.
Incidentally, I don't have a facebook account, and I sleep fine.
Edit: didn't Mark Zuckerberg once say "people who trust me are dumb fucks", or something to that affect? Screw that guy and the horse he rode in on.
Now if his behavior was consistent and he continued to say things like that today, then maybe the evidence would hold some merit. Otherwise it's just pointless cherrypicking. To hold something like that against him over a decade later? That's just irrational hatred.
And just to be clear this is the full quote with context: https://pastebin.com/4a2aLp11
And with the extra context, the quote makes more sense. At the time it was dumb of those people to just submit personal information to a random dude at Harvard.
There is a big difference between a multi-billion dollar company that has a reputation, shareholders etc. and a completely random person (who could literally be anyone with any motives). You can't go to Facebook and give them an envelope of cash for keys to access other peoples Facebook accounts whereas some random guy is much more likely to be open to this.
Security online is already shit and people freely handing out access to their online accounts is not making things better. There's need to breach servers anymore, you just create a "fun" browser extension with god permissions that auto-updates and then after a few weeks just start harvesting usernames, passwords, card details, instant messages and emails... :/
I had read an interview the one of the UKIP social media guys talking about that US company that provided services to the leave campaign. he shut his own facebook down after hearing about how it worked