Over the last few days, many of you may have read/heard/discussed the big Facebook scandal that is shaking the social media world. If you haven’t – where have you been?
I personally follow these articles with intent, as I am currently in the throes of implementing various business changes in line with the new GDPR regulations. This scandal has highlighted a big problem: why do we download apps and allow services to collect information about us without a second thought?
It was a real eye-opener seeing what information Facebook is collecting, even though we give it permission to by signing up, checking in to a place, or uploading a picture. Like many, I have recently downloaded a file that contains the information Facebook holds about me (even if it did take hours!).
On the weekend, there was a picture posted on twitter by Dylan McKay of his call history with his partner’s mum that Facebook had collected. On Sunday, the social network said this was done with users’ permission. This is the problem: We download apps and allow services to collect information about us without a second thought. The good to come out of this Facebook episode is that people get smarter about their online footprint.
But the onus is not just on customers. Companies need to step up. When a user is signing up for a service or downloading an app, the information being collected and how it will be used needs to be clearly stated. And it must be easy for users to change how their data is accessed – hence the new GDPR regulations!
Taking control of your customers data has never been more important. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked up the potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This is potentially scary technology that can read and use data in ways like never before. With such a prospect ahead, understanding your data and restricting it where necessary, should be your number one priority.
You probably know at least one person who gave up social media for Lent this year (one of our researchers did). If you’re thinking of taking a break from social media for a while, you’re not the only one….