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Facebook Removing Third Party Data for Ad Targeting

In March, news of the data breach scandal from Facebook involving Cambridge Analytica was met with international furore and condemnation, as the personally identifiable data of up to 87 million Facebook users was leaked and harvested by the British political consulting firm. Since then, Facebook has announced it will be making some changes in order to improve its data protection by implementing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25, in all areas of operation, as well as changing the way advertisers can handle data and target consumers.

2 min read

So, due to recent events, Facebook has decided to make some big changes concerning the use of data on their platform, as it aims to ensure that all users have complete transparency and control over which of their information is used and in what way. In order to build on these announcements, Facebook has revealed that it is going to be more restrictive in the way data can be used in advertising.

Removing Partner Categories

You’re probably already wondering how exactly this will affect you as an advertiser.

Well, over the next 6 months, Facebook plans on removing the ability to use Partner Categories. This is a targeting solution that enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. Despite the presence of good protection and the fact that using third-party data has become common practice in this industry, Facebook is convinced that this is the right step, needed in order to improve people’s privacy on Facebook.

And yes, these changes are expected to impact your advertising in one way or another, however, as an Official Facebook Marketing Partner, we will work with you and guide you through this transition, every step of the way.

With the aim of reducing the predicted disruptions as much as possible, advertisers will be given time to update their targeting. In light of the upcoming implementation of the GDPR in the European Union, please take the time to carefully study the timeline below in order to comply with the new sets of laws and regulations.


May 10: Creating or editing campaign using Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK (Oracle Data Cloud), Germany (Acxiom) and France (Acxiom) will no longer be possible, however, running campaigns will be allowed to continue until May 24th.

May 25: Facebook closes the door on delivering to Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany and France. These targeting options will be removed and no longer available on the platform. You will receive a notification reminding you to update any targeting which contains impacted Partner Categories before this date.

June 30: This will be the last day to create new or edit existing campaigns using non-EU Partner Categories (e.g. Experian, Quantium, Epsilon etc.) These will be allowed to run until September 30th.

October 1: All other remaining Partner Categories will no longer be available as targeting options and Facebook will completely stop delivering these to audiences. You will receive a notification reminding you to update your targeting by this date.

As always, we will continue to update you on any changes and updates that may take place in the future. For more questions or insights, please reach out to our team via

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