Facebook privacy is now about transparency and restoring user trust, says Facebook in its post about adding tools and making protecting data easier. In a quick response, the Association of National Advertisers urges the social network: Do what you mean, mean what you say.
Yesterday, ANA said in a statement:
“Only greater transparency and accountability will help Facebook (and other online platforms) earn and regain trust. But recent developments, like Cambridge Analytica, make it clear that there is a long way to go. Greater transparency and choices that help illuminate the shadowy corners of the data and marketing worlds are of critical importance. We know that when there is trust there is greater sharing — and that without trust, there can be no sharing. The inappropriate use of information and insight means everyone — consumers, advertisers, publishers and other stakeholders — loses.”
The Cambridge Analytica reference is regarding recent disclosure that Facebook sold data about 50 million users to a consulting firm that then used it to aid the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the Brexit backers in the UK. Facebookers unknowingly provided the personal data about themselves and their friends when they used a third-party app within Facebook.
Ad Age says Facebook privacy rules now turn off the data spigot to third-party apps:
“On Wednesday, Facebook said it would remove ad targeting options that relied on consumer data from third-parties such as Acxiom, Oracle Data Cloud, Experian, Epsilon and others. These data providers have some of the deepest insights into consumer behavior across the world — information on what people buy, where they shop, what kind of cars they drive, health profiles, incomes, family makeup — and they are integral to the entire digital ad ecosystem.”
The ANA says when marketers use data in ways consumers don’t like, consumers feel violated and their reactions end up causing situations like the data use clampdown in the EU that’s coming on May 25. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will be in force starting on that date means brands must gain consumer opt-in to use personal data for marketing purposes, as well as allowing EU citizens to state their marketing preferences. The rules oversee data sharing, as well, and permit consumers to have their data erased.
The ANA says the Facebook controversy “highlights the industry’s ongoing need to address” the issues of consumer privacy and transparency.
Online brands are especially guilty of the latter and could learn from traditional media how to be more forthcoming, the statement reads.
The ANA says about transparency in marketing:
Transparency must be our industry’s cornerstone principle. Transparency must be accepted as the cost of entry for all “walled garden” platforms to engage brands. What happens in the dark shadows of those “walls” is seldom clear and understandable to consumers and advertisers. The creation of trust requires greater sunlight inside these walls — or the removal of the walls altogether.
Yesterday’s ANA mandate, ironically, comes a day after a Facebook Newsroom post written by Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Policy and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel, that promises to do just that.
In addition to allowing consumers to download all of the data Facebook has on them and putting all of the Facebook privacy controls on one page instead of 20, the social media platform is introducing new tools to help users control their privacy settings. One of the ones Egan and Beringer announced is “Access Your Information — a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments and things you’ve searched for. You can go here to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook.”
In the meantime, congressional and FTC investigations into the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy are proceeding.
What do you think, marketers?
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