"When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it's the same as slamming the door in someone's face," says a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
You probably assume that banking is more or less private. Your account balance, how much you spend on lattes and how much you owe on credit cards are your own business. Yes, credit rating agencies can get some of that information, but you wouldn't think advertisers could.
In October 2016, the nonprofit investigative journal ProPublica published a blockbuster exposé about housing advertisements on Facebook. Advertisers could tailor their ads to exclude people based on race, gender and other factors that are illegal under the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing.