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  • Personal Data File Open Privacy ExultsAt a point in history where data privacy is a huge priority, it came as a shock to many people when they discovered that Cambridge Analytica — a political data firm that President Trump hired for the 2016 election campaign — harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

    How Cambridge Analytica Harvested the Data

    Cambridge Analytica accessed the information through a vulnerability in Facebook’s search and account recovery function. The data firm, however, didn’t access the information in a way that violated the company’s terms of service. Instead, they benefited from a provision that allowed developers to use Facebook Login instead of having users create new accounts for their apps. This feature is certainly convenient, but to sign in, users had to agree to let developers collect their personal Facebook info and the data from friends in their networks.

    In the Cambridge Analytica case, the developer of an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” gained access to the data of millions of users through this login feature. The developer then shared that information with the political data firm.

    What This Means for You

    These events are still unfolding, but the damage has again brought to light how much personal data people risk when they access social media. In response, some users are closing their accounts. Others are simply changing what they share. Facebook has also announced a new plan to restrict data access on Facebook, which may affect how users interact on the platform.

    As a company with marketing needs, this means that you need to be more mindful about how you collect and use customer information. It also means that you need to stay updated on changes that rollout to Facebook and how those adjustments may alter the best practices for marketing on that platform. If you need help with social advertising on Facebook and similar channels, get started with Exults today.

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