The Facebook Privacy Breach and Your Marketing

By: Lea Titas  | 03/28/2018

If you’ve been living under a rock the last couple weeks, you might’ve missed hearing about the Cambridge Analytica’s data breach on Facebook. And, if you’re like a lot of people, once you did hear, you might’ve gone directly to your Facebook settings, downloaded all the data Facebook has collected on you and then unchecked all the apps that have access to your personal information.


In fact, you might not be surprised to hear that, according to a recent Marketing Week survey, this scandal has prompted 34.4% of those surveyed to update their Facebook privacy settings and 7.66% to delete their account.


But, hold on a second. Yes, it’s cringe-worthy that Facebook didn’t protect its users’ personal data as well as it should have. But, more times than not, we gave these apps access (remember that quiz you took and had to click OK to see the results? Yeah, that.).  


For its part, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has issued a formal apology, and has recommitted to the privacy of Facebook users. The company has stopped third party apps from getting so much information as well as limited the data that apps get when you sign up. Only time will tell if these measures will be effective.


So, the big question is: what does this mean for the future of marketing on social networks? With the new GDPR regulations in Europe and now this, you can expect to see a change in what users give permission to share. The fact that the federal government has gotten involved also means there will be a lot more mandated requirements about what’s being collected online.


This means marketers need to be held accountable. Data transparency has never been more important. Without an industry shift in processes and thinking, marketers will begin to lose the trust of customers. To promote proper privacy procedures in the short-term, take the time to update your privacy policy, audit your existing database, and verify your platforms for data regulations. Need help putting together a database audit? Contact us to get started.


Your customers will thank you for it.




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