The old adage “all publicity is good publicity”, is one that is frequently put to the test. Whilst not always through choice, there can be little doubt that Facebook often makes headline news and the recent privacy row engulfing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica offers the perfect example of how headline news is not always good news.

Recent Revelations

The revelation that 50,000,000 people had their Facebook profiles harvested so Cambridge Analytica received the ability to specifically target them with political ads has caused outrage across the globe. With questions already in place about Facebook’s approach to data protection and disclosure, this is a storm that FB could well have done without.

As arguments rage about the semantics of what actually constitutes a “breach”, one thing is crystal clear: personal data has been extracted from Facebook and used for purposes to which had not been consented.

A Complicated Track Record on Privacy

With a complicated track record on privacy and a business model founded on gathering data, Facebook knows the key information about huge percentage of its users. Your real name, your friends details, your likes and interests, places you have visited, websites of interest, even what you look like are all key snippets of information that can be used to ensure advertising is more targeted than ever before.

It uses all that data to make it super easy for its customers – advertisers – to target you.

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Should You Be Concerned?

Figures released in June 2017 indicated that Facebook has over 2 billion individual users each and every month*.

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Therefore, unless you are very much in the minority and have not been using Facebook for a significant period of time, it is certain that you are already living in a world of highly targeted advertising and this is unlikely to change any time soon.

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