Facebook Data Breach Compromises Consumer Confidence

Facebook Data Breach Compromises Consumer Confidence - Sakshi Post

Sameer Dhanrajani

The Facebook data breach raises urgent questions that need to be answered responsibly by our industry -- given its terrifying scale and impact. In today's world, data is a form of soft power, and it is essential for those who wield it, to use it responsibly so that consumer confidence isn't compromised.

The challenge is that, at an idea-generation stage, it can be difficult to draw a clear, bright line between whether data is being used for optimisation or for manipulation.

Take, for instance, the Obama and Trump campaigns in the US. The former used the same digital platforms for optimising communication and ensuring voter confidence and dissemination of information. On the other hand, British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used the same platforms but with malafide intent -- to manipulate the views and preferences of voters.

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As investigations continue, it is increasingly clear that data was stolen, models used were unauthorised for the purpose they were being used, the messages (in many cases) were outright lies.

So the whole operation was questionable from the get-go. It is, therefore, extremely critical to demarcate this difference -- are the final consumers of a data-driven model being actively manipulated or is data being used to merely optimise a communications strategy?

It is also essential to clearly define the parties involved in the data "lifecycle" and their roles and responsibilities, with regard to how data is being used. There are usually three parties in this lifecycle, each requiring a different kind of oversight and norms.

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