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Sonar's quick POV on Facebook's recent data breaches

Following the revelations Cambridge Analytics gained illegal access to the data of 50 million Facebook users, people have been exposed to the true extent of Facebook’s data policies.

Adam, Sonar Group
April 6, 2018

The news for Facebook isn’t great. A recent Australian YouGov Galaxy survey found the level of trust in Facebook is “phenomenally low”. As major brands like Tesla and Playboy lead the #DeleteFacebook movement, people are beginning to reconsider their use of the world’s largest social media service.

As expected, Facebook’s apology came with an update to user privacy settings (it’s now easier for you to delete your data). They also took the surprising move of shutting down their third-party partner categories: a service letting brands use external data (e.g., Woolworths Everyday Rewards and Roy Morgan research) to target people on Facebook.

What does this mean for brands? At the moment, unless you’re utilising services like Quantium and Experian, you won’t suffer a huge blow from the changes. It will however have a big impact on brands who use these services regularly, moving them back to square one in terms of their media strategy.

Making it easier for users to delete data (particularly old stuff) may actually help brands. With more up-to-date user information, targeting will be more accurate and specific.

It’s doubtful Facebook will make any major changes to its business model (i.e., selling data) and therefore long-term impacts will be minimal.

As targeting specific audiences becomes increasingly more complex, a detailed and well-thought out Facebook advertising strategy is essential for success in social. And now with the loss of third-party partner categories, this is more important than ever. There is a lot more to learn here, so like so many businesses, agencies, and consultancies, we are keeping glued to the news threads to expand our understanding of what it all means for our client partners as well as our own business.

Stay tuned…