It’s fair to say that Facebook has had a tough couple of weeks.
With the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal revealing that over 70 million Facebook users had their personal data used by a third-party in trying to build support for both Trump’s presidential candidacy and the Brexit Leave movement, the company’s top brass find themselves in hot water.
Understandably users have reacted negatively to the news about their data being breached, with the #DeleteFacebook hashtag trending across Twitter. Advertisers have been turning to the social media giant to clear up how it intends to change and improve the ways it protects user’s data.
A Forum for Transparency
Between a recent apology from Mark Zuckerberg promising to do better and to work to build regulation for his social media platform, it does seem like Facebook is taking the right steps in improving the security of its users’ private information.
Beginning this week, Facebook will send the 87 million users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica a detailed message on their news feeds about the breach. This is a step in the direction towards improving transparency, with Facebook users calling for more detailed information about how the platform uses their personal information.
Just waking up in the UK? From around noon you’ll see one of these two messages when you go on Facebook. If you get the one on the right, it means you were one of the 1m-or-so British-based users apparently scooped up by Cambridge Analytica pic.twitter.com/HdGMOZn3iX
— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) April 9, 2018
On the other hands, it doesn’t hurt for brands to be vigilant and pay greater attention to any risk of data breaches. Increased accountability for both brands and Facebook can only lead to a better peace of mind for users.
The stage has been set for brands and businesses to have a more open and transparent discussion with Facebook about how the social media giant uses and shares audience data, as addressed in a statement from Facebook Australia’s managing director Will Easton:
‘’Advertisers look to Facebook to help grow their businesses. They know how important it is for people to trust their information with Facebook. Most of the businesses we’ve spoken with are pleased with the steps we’ve outlined to better protect people’s data, and they have confidence that we’ll respond to these challenges and become a better partner and company as a result.”
While it’s unfortunate the conversations of transparency and the use of audience data have to come off the back of a data breach, it’s important that these conversations are thoroughly explored and continued to ensure both users and advertisers feel safe using the platform.