There are so many articles about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and the privacy of your data, that I’m hesitant to add one more. However my customers keep asking me is it safe for them to continue on Facebook, and will Facebook continue to be the social media platform giant it is now.
Here are some thoughts about your privacy, your business usage of Facebook and Facebook’s future.
Long before Facebook was built in Zuckerberg’s dorm room, you kissed your privacy goodbye. And it started with something much more valuable than your email address, phone number or physical address. How many places in this world have your social security number? Let me rattle off a few for you. Your bank. Your credit card. Your mortgage company, car insurance, home insurance, the cable company, the phone company including your cell phone company, and more. When asked to identify your account with most businesses and you say, “I don’t remember my account number”, the first thing they say is give me your social security number or give me the last four digits of your social security number.
Facebook is not responsible for your data or your privacy being given away. You are.
Let me give you another example. Do you have a loyalty card for your grocery store or pharmacy? Does it hang from your keys? If that’s the case then these businesses know not only your address, email, phone but also if you buy adult diapers or baby diapers. They know if you buy viagra. They know what time of the month you buy tampons. And if you make online purchases at giants like Amazon, well, they know not only the last book you bought, but also what kind of sex toys you prefer.
Have you got Alexa or Google Home at your house? Guess what, they know what music you like when you turn the lights on and off, what time you get up in the morning, and what weird stuff you like to look up on the internet.
News has come out that Cambridge Analytica also got people’s instant messages from Facebook. Know who else has your messages? Google, if you use Gmail. Verizon if you have their service and text anyone.
So the question becomes, is my information SAFE?
And I would respond with, from what? In the case of Cambridge Analytica, your data was used in one way and one way only: to sway opinion. It was not used to create identities and steal your bank account. It was not used to frame you for criminal activity. It wasn’t used to harm you in any way at all, BUT it was used to undermine our democracy and the structure of how Americans preserve our democracy.
I guarantee you that the people who took your data were not interested in anything truly personal and private about you, except your susceptibility to propaganda.
So regarding your privacy, I would tell you that, there is really no such thing as privacy anymore, on Facebook or anywhere else. If you want privacy, invite someone to your house and have a nice chat face to face.
Regarding the safety of your data, I would tell you that no, to your definition of safety, your data isn’t safe anywhere, with Facebook or otherwise. It will and has been mined for years and years by marketers to figure out how to sell you more stuff. In this instance what you were being sold was ideas.
And I would warn you that as technology continues to develop and become more pervasive in our society, the amount of data on us will only continue to grow and our privacy will only continue to shrink.
I would tell you that rather than worry about your privacy, you should be worried about how the data is used, and to what end. Our concerns should be with Cambridge Analytica and Russian hackers.
Your Business on Facebook
So, will Facebook weather this storm and still be a viable option for businesses?
Most likely yes. Sure people will leave, but a portion of them will also eventually return. Those who were skeptical of joining Facebook, will not join, but they weren’t part of the Facebook audience to begin.
Facebook has survived other data scandals before and has done nothing but continue to grow. In fact, according to eMarketer’s Social Report last month, Facebook is expected to retain it’s 60% share of the social media market through the year 2020. Even reports of the younger generation’s leaving Facebook should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s true, kids don’t USE facebook like they used to. It’s not cool anymore. However, everyone is on Facebook, and so people continue to sign up, they continue to keep their profiles, but they may not be as active if they are younger.
What Mark Zuckerberg said in his hearing in front of the Senate, regarding the latest privacy issues, is true. That you don’t start a business in a dorm room and grow it an international platform, without making a few mistakes. I think because Facebook is so open, and it’s got so many people contributing to it, that the public is a little forgiving of the mistakes that are made. Right now, we’re angry. We’re angry that Zuckerberg, didn’t see how this abuse could happen and prevent against. We’re angry that Cambridge Analytica fooled all of us.
We’re angry about a lot of things regarding our privacy and it’s been stewing and growing for a while. We get angry with every credit card company who gets hacked and info is stolen. We get angry when we learn the government is getting more info on us than we thought. We get angry when even credit reporting agencies who affect our lives deeply can have a breach and our info ends up on the dark web.
Yet we continue to use credit cards, credit reporting agencies, phones……and we will continue to use Facebook.
Please welcome Guest Blogger and Social Media Contributor Greta Weiner to Talon’s Blog. Today Greta will be talking about Facebook and your Privacy. Greta’s blog, Greta Weiner Digital provides Content and Social Media Management.
Greta has an extensive background in media advertising and marketing – newspaper, radio, television, cable and online.
One of the first in Albuquerque to offer Social Media Marketing to her clients, she’s worked with companies like Cliff’s Amusement Park, New Mexico Health Connections, a QVC jewelry company based locally, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Bernalillo County.
Learn more about Greta Weiner Digital.