How the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Will Affect Your Small Business

How the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Will Affect Your Small BusinessYou’ve probably seen the news – it has been pretty much everywhere. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Scandal is heating up and things are not looking good for the social media powerhouse.

Starting this week, Facebook users are starting to find out if they were among the 87 million users whose information was compromised for use by the political organization, Cambridge Analytica, in the most recent election. For some, the news is good, while others have something to worry about.

You might have missed the news or are wondering what happened – here is what you need to know.

The Scandal

A political data firm, Cambridge Analytica, gained access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters to help influence their behavior.

The collected data was said to include details on the identities of the Facebook users, and information on their friend networks and “likes.” The data firm aimed to map our the Facebook user’s personality traits based on their likes and to help target specific audiences with digital ads.
In 2014, users were asked to download an app and take a survey that collected private information from their profiles and those of their friends. This activity was permitted by Facebook at the time but has since been banned.

How to Check If Your Data Was Compromised

It is important to remember that the data could have been collected if one of your friend’s data was collected, so it is important for you to check to see if your account details were shared.

If you would like to see if your account was amongst the affected users, click this link. The link will let you know if your information was shared in any way.

You might be surprised to find out that your information was shared. Luckily, many members of our staff were in the clear – but one team member and another team member’s spouse were not. Both had Facebook friend’s that could have compromised their data in connection with them.

You can also access your Facebook Settings from the same page. The linked settings page will show you how many apps or websites have access to your data. The link will allow you to easily remove any apps or websites that you no longer want accessing your information.

How the Scandal Will Affect Your Small Business

The collected data was targeted at individual users, but the scandal can still affect your SMBs. The scandal has caused a worldwide panic and even a campaign to #DeleteFacebook. This negative coverage could lead to a drop in usership, which can affect your Facebook audience.

Furthermore, the scandal is going to have an effect on privacy settings – which means that you may no longer have access to certain targeting information for your Facebook Ads. Most of the targeting information available for Facebook ad targeting is actually collected from third-party vendors. With everything that is going on, there is no surprise that there is going to be a privacy crackdown.

Facebook says it is going to greatly scale back the info you can share with third-party apps or websites: “We’re reducing the data you give an app when you approve it to only your name, profile photo, and email address,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in prepared testimony to the House Energy and Commerce committee.

It is unclear how much this change will affect SMBs at this time because details of this event are unfolding more and more each day. However, now that you are aware – you will be ready and prepared for any changes in traffic/engagement.

Staying Up-to-Date on Social Media News

Staying up-to-date on social media news can be difficult as a busy SMB owner. Our team has you covered! We read all the latest news, so you won’t have to lose sleep over the recent Facebook drama. Sign-up for our newsletter to receive the latest social media and marketing news right to your inbox.

If you would like to discuss your current social media strategy, contact us today!

Katy Katz

written by...

Katy Katz

Katy is the Director of Account Strategy for Marketing Refresh. She enjoys geeking out on marketing, chips and queso, and her latest Netflix obsession.

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