With the Facebook crisis in full flame, we wonder if this could be a turning point for privacy, or certainly a moment of reflection about what the role of marketing is in this debate. Marketers have certainly been dazzled by the potential of big data for targeting and personalization, but maybe they need to exercise more caution – or at least be more aware of the need for better privacy controls. Paul and David bat around a few thoughts about the changing nature of privacy and what the revelations of the past week mean for marketers.
Reactions to the Facebook disclosures have been almost unanimously negative. The Internet Society posted an op/ed saying that “Mark Zuckerberg’s apology is a first step, but it’s not enough.” Certainly, many businesses (SpaceX and Tesla are two corporate examples) are deleting their Facebook pages, but do they really understand that this data persists for quite some time? The EFF has this handy guide for individual privacy, and we suspect that some corporate users will also get smarter about how their data is consumed by social platforms of the future. Hopefully, some solid regulation will come of this movement, and a better appreciation of our customers’ privacy too.
There’s also a new academic study on web tracking tools that shows that the threat of misbehaving third-party applications trampling on private data is huge. Thousands of these tracking tools are used by online advertisers, and many are good at evading ad blockers.
The notion of privacy by design has been around for more than a decade; perhaps marketers should take a moment to review some of its precepts.