We’re sure by now you’ve heard about the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook and have most likely formed some sort of opinion on the situation and/or the industry. We’d like to set the record straight by coming out and directly saying it: WHAT THEY DID WAS ILLEGAL & HIGHLY UNETHICAL.
“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”- Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Employee
Here’s the skinny on what they did vs what ethical agencies like McKay Advertising+Activation (MA+A) do on a day to day basis.
Cambridge Analytica scam:
- Created Global Science Research (GSR) to survey individuals in return for money (Cool)
- Pushed the GSR software out to people who voluntarily opted into taking the survey (Cool)
- Prompted the individual to download the Facebook App to receive payment (Cool)
- Stored all that individual’s data, WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT, once they downloaded the app (NOT COOL)
- Collected over 50 million individual’s personal data and exploited it (NOT COOL)
Here’s an article we liked giving the rundown on how CA undermined Facebook’s data usage guidelines. Now, let’s look at how we do things on a day to day basis.
MA+A on Facebook Advertising:
- We utilize Facebook’s targeting that is anonymized in its delivery system and only using Facebook’s data within the platform
- The only time we cross into personally-identifiable information is when the consumer takes an action to volunteer that information (signing up for a white paper, submitting a lead gen form, converting some other way)
- We have NO data on you as an individual unless you explicitly give it to us
Facebook advertising will continue to be strong and targeted so there’s no need to worry. According to this CNBC article the only way that this will be affected is if:
- Millions of users begin to boycott Facebook due to the scandal
- Legitimate Apps become affected by Facebook’s new policies implemented
Realistically none of the above are likely to take place. As the scandal continues to unfold things are likely to get messier as pundits and “experts” muddle the facts. With that being said, please do not hesitate to contact us if you want more information or simply want someone to rant to about the topic. We’ll be more than happy to set the record straight. Transparency is one of our core values as a company and we have nothing to hide. (Literally, we have nothing to hide. We have no data on you “John Smith”