If you’ve turned on the news lately chances are you have probably seen that Facebook is making headlines. Facebook and user data protection has been a hot topic of conversation lately as it pertains to the 2016 presidential election. Don’t worry we won’t be diving into views on politics. However, we will be reviewing what Facebook is doing to protect user data.
Facebook has made it very clear that their plan is to focus on how apps get and use Facebook data. They are looking to set a higher standard for how developers build on Facebook, what people should expect from them and from Facebook. Facebook has also confirmed that all customer information is used in an anonymous and privacy safe way to reach audiences. Basically, they make the data unreadable so no one, including Facebook, can recognize it or see anyone’s individual information. Once data is used to match audiences it’s promptly deleted to protect the privacy of the data uploaded as well as the people who use Facebook.
What does this mean for marketers who primarily look to generate leads, since this information does contain private information? Well, you will continue to be able to access lead information since those users have opted into providing that. Facebook will continue to not have access to that lead data.
Facebook has released the following statement as it relates to the recent data concerns:
“We condemn the actions of Aleksandr Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), and Christopher Wylie. What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a breach of the trust people place in Facebook to protect their data when they share it. We need to fix that. As Mark Zuckerberg explained in his post, we are announcing some important changes to take action on potential past abuse and to help prevent future abuse of our platform.
In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps should be social. With this in mind, we allowed people to log into apps and share who their friends were and some information about them. Over the years, we’ve introduced more guardrails, so that the level of information obtained by Kogan’sapp is no longer possible. Even before learning about Kogan’s activities, we made updated our platform three years ago to limit the data people can share about their friends with developers. In addition, in 2014, we began reviewing apps that request certain data before they could launch, and introducing more granular controls for people to decide what information to share with apps.
But we know we need to do more, and we are making further changes to our product, policies, and processes. We’re going to set a higher standard for how developers build on Facebook, and what people should expect from them and, most importantly, from us. We will:
- Review our platform. We will investigate all app that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. If we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them from our platform.
- Tell people about data misuse. We will tell people affected by apps that have misused their data. This includes building a way for people to know if their data might have been accessed by Kogan’s app “thisisyourdigitallife.” Moving forward, if we remove an app for misusing data, we will tell everyone who used it.
- Turn off access for unused apps. If someone hasn’t used an app within the last three months, we will turn off the app’s access to their information.
- Restrict Facebook Login data. We are changing Login, so that in the next version, we will reduce the data that an app can request without going through login review to include only name, profile photo, and email address. Requesting any other data will require our approval.
- Encourage people to manage the apps they use. We already show people what apps their accounts are connected to, and what data they’ve permitted those apps to use. Going forward, we’re going to encourage people to check their settings and work to make these choices more prominent and easier to manage.
- Reward people who find vulnerabilities. We will expand Facebook’s bug bounty program so that people can also report to us if they find misuses of data by app developers.
There’s more work to do, and we’ll be sharing details in the coming weeks about additional steps we’re taking to put people more in control of their data. Some of these updates were already in the works, and some are related to new data protection laws coming into effect in the EU. This week’s events have accelerated our efforts.”