Recently in the news, there has been a lot of talk about data and privacy. Usually at the expense of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
If you’re not fully up to date on the story so far, the story essentially it boils down to a few key points for most people;
- Cambridge Analytica built their business off the back of using illegally collected data from people and their friends on Facebook
- Cambridge Analytica was only able to collect this data because of a loophole in the facebook API. This loophole doesn’t exist any longer (facebook fixed the issue 2 years ago!)
- Cambridge Analytica has been using the illegally collected data to help politicians win election campaigns – allegedly helping Trump win (and less commonly connected also to Obamas win)
If you’re new to the digital world or, you’re not used to thinking about what happens online and how data is used then you should know that
a) this is pretty common (using your data to target you online). It’s how Facebook and Google work. Their services are free and they pay for this huge empire out of data and advertising.
b) There is no reason to freak out. There is a reason to question internet privacy (there will always be) and there is plenty of reason to pay attention to where you submit details or participate online. But freaking out at this point is redundant. For starters Trump won already, Obama won already and it’s about to get super hard for this to happen twice (at least via Facebook)
Personally, I find it mildly funny the amount of faux outrage from people over the data that Facebook has on them. Many of the people I’ve seen complain are the exact same people who have been praising Facebook for the past year on it’s demographic and psychographic ad targeting options.
Now, that it’s trendy we’re all jumping ship and onto the bandwagon of tearing down Facebook. I personally think it’s unfair to paint them as evil data collectors right after the 18 month high marketers and businesses have been riding due to their ads.
Like seriously, I thought that SEO companies were springing up out of nowhere in the last 3 years but the explosion of Facebook marketing companies and their associated ‘gurus’ has blown that out of the water!