Who’s Listening When The Kids Are

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MCKAY ADVERTISING + ACTIVATION

Every parent counts down the days till summer ends and their kid goes back to school. Finally having the house to themselves they get to have a little me time to spend scrolling through social media and binge-watching their favorite shows. Even working parents get to enjoy their nights on school nights with the return of early bedtimes.

While you’re enjoying your time on social media you may be seeing some advertisements on Facebook that seem to know exactly what you are interested in. You may be asking yourself if you are being listened to. Although many social media platforms have insisted they do not listen to users through their microphone while using the app they may still be listening to you. 

It has recently surfaced that Facebook has been paying contractors to transcribe user audio chats. Although these users had given permission to Facebook to transcribe their messages what they didn’t know is that it was going to be done by humans and not AI. Apple, Google and Amazon have been caught doing similar things in the past but have promised to stop after scrutiny. 

Facebook has repeatedly been caught violating their user’s privacy. While the use of user’s data can be helpful in creating profiles it is unethical to be doing so without the user’s full knowledge and permission.  

You may remember the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) scandals or even have watched the recent Netflix documentary The Greatest Hack where Facebook and Cambridge Analytica used millions of user’s data to try and influence them through ads. 

Instances like these have opened the general public’s eyes and help them realize the power of their personal data and how it can be used. Luckily now that the public and authorities recognize the importance of data protection more regulations are being enacted to keep consumers safe. For instance, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that was passed in California in 2018 gives consumers the right to question how businesses use your data and force them to be more transparent. 

Data privacy is a massive issue and consumers are becoming more and more wary. It is important as a brand or marketer that you are transparent and respectful.