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UPDATED: Facebook Cuts Mobile Ad Ties With HasOffers, Kontagent

Written on
Feb 12, 2014 
Author
Mike Daly  |

ADOTAS – Facebook has dropped two of its Mobile Measurement Program (MMP) partners, HasOffers and Kontagent, for allegedly violating their T&Cs by holding on to customer data too long and failing to notify users of their data collection through updates to their privacy policies. AdExchanger.com’s Zack Rodgers broke the story this morning.

“After working with a third-party auditor to review the practices of all our mobile measurement partners, we discovered that some weren’t adhering to the terms they agreed to,” read Facebook’s statement on the matter. “As a result, we’ve removed a couple of our partners from the program. These partners can no longer work with marketers on Facebook. We have an audit system in place for this very reason. We take our contracts seriously, and will continue to act swiftly anytime we find out they are being violated.”

“Facebook’s decision to drop HasOffers and Kontagent because they breached Facebook’s rules on using customer data is a game changer which will send ripples through the mobile app industry,” said Guillaume Lelait (pictured), VP North America at Fetch, a global mobile advertising/marketing agency. “A large amount of big app developers have been using Hasoffers Mobile App Tracking for attribution of all channels (including Facebook) for measurement. This is a strong approach from Facebook on its policies, but it is a clear indication of how critical mobile ad revenue is to the Facebook’s business model.  The options now for HasOffers users is to switch to an alternative tracking solution or use Mobile App Tracking along with the Facebook SDK which is installed in the majority of apps already. However, Facebook data will not be available in the MAT dashboard.”

Kontagent issued the following statement on the matter today:

Kontagent, as a social and mobile analytics provider, has had a longstanding relationship with Facebook, ingesting data for our customers’ many uses. Facebook let us know that we’re no longer a part of their Mobile Measurement Program, that shares information we used to attribute app installs generated by its install-based ad network. We have always and will maintain high standards for data storage and security. As noted in your [the AdExchanger] story, no data leaks or privacy breaches were surfaced in the audit.

This is a relatively small service for Kontagent+PlayHaven, and we let the customers using it know immediately. We provided the information below that includes additional and valuable context about the current situation.

Why is this happening?

Facebook conducted a technology audit of Kontagent’s participation in the Mobile Measurement Program. While we have not been able to thoroughly review the specific findings of the audit, Facebook informed us that Kontagent did not meet the program’s specifications.

Specifically, Facebook requires that partners securely store information gathered, separately from all other data and then that we delete it 180 days later.

Kontagent added what we believed to be an extra layer of security to these requirements by encrypting this data while it was stored in a secured environment and then deleted the encryption keys in advance of deadlines defined by Facebook. We believe in this security protocol as it means that even if someone managed to gain access to this secured and encrypted information, including us, it would be useless without the ability to decrypt it.

After reviewing its audit, Facebook informed us that our storage of this information did not meet its requirements. We wish to work with Facebook to address these issues and maintain an active relationship on many fronts. We have always and will continue to maintain high standards for data security and storage – it is a top priority of the company.

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Mike Daly is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of experience in publishing. He began his career in 1983 at The News of Paterson, N.J., a long-since defunct daily paper, where at age 22 he was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Since then he has served in managerial capacities with several news organizations, including Arts Weekly Inc. and North Jersey Media Group in New Jersey and Examiner Media in New York. His work has been honored on numerous occasions by the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

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