Will the Cambridge Analytica scandal affect Facebook advertising?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news this week and particularly in the digital marketing world, you would have heard about the latest data protection breach involving a ‘personality prediction’ app on Facebook sharing personal data to Cambridge Analytica for political targeting purposes during the election campaign of 2016. Unfortunately, personal data breaches are not uncommon.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg was famously quoted in 2010 saying “Privacy is no longer a social norm”. With major companies such as Yahoo and Equifax also facing serious instances of personal data breaches in the last two years, it is important that businesses comply with regulations.

What Will Change?

On the 25th May 2018, the biggest change to data protection regulations in ten years will occur with the introduction of GDPR. This will require data to be processed “lawfully, fairly and transparently” and collected for “explicitly specified and legitimate purposes and not further processed”. Every business who holds data of EU citizens will have to comply with this legislation.

In response to the Cambridge Analytica occurrence, Facebook has now laid out new and basic steps the company will take to ensure there are no breaches of personal data. This involves new app developments requiring Facebook’s approval before requesting any personal data from users, apps with suspicious activity or developers who are not compliant with audits will be suspended and any developers who are found to misuse personal data will also be banned, while affected users will be notified.

Will this Affect my Facebook Advertising?

It is important that you always stay aware of what data your business is collecting, but also to ensure that your advertising isn’t breaking any data protection rules. Staying up to date on any social media news can help you to ensure you are compliant with your advertising. Here at Ascensor, we have digital marketing experts to help answer your queries or concerns. Speaking to Jordan, our PPC Specialist, he advises:

"My short answer is no, not right now. Based on the noise coming from this event and how it is being dealt with I would say that currently, your Facebook Advertising should be fine. No advertiser or brand has openly outed Facebook yet and it seems advertisers/brands are waiting to see how the proposal of regulation develops. It all depends on whether regulations will take place and therefore from this it will potentially affect how Facebook ads can use data for targeting purposes.

Many observers believe Facebook as a social network will pull through; a regulated Facebook would still be too big to turn down and you will be struggling to find an alternative technology giant that offers data as rich as its own. The likes of Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google also felt the heat amid the global backlash to Cambridge Analytica and from that you can be certain that due to the vested interests of these major technology players, if regulation comes into play they will still make sure data protection and usage is dealt with correctly to allow advertisers to continue investing in their services.”

How can Ascensor Help?

As part of the GDPR legislation, If an individual requests details of any information that is stored about them on our web servers, we will be able to provide this detail in the required format and within the required timescales. As digitally captured data will be the most affected by GDPR, our ability to support our clients’ compliance will provide confidence as we move into this new era of data protection.

From website design and development services where we build databases to store customer data, to our email marketing automation solutions where we use Infusionsoft to provide professional double-opted in communications on behalf of clients, we have all the necessary systems and processes in place to ensure we keep our clients compliant with GDPR.

If you are not yet ready for GDPR, or if you are unsure whether or not your website offers you the protection that you will need for compliance, we can support you. Find more about GDPR here, or Get in touch with us today.

Was this post helpful? Help others by sharing it