By Adam Fraser
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that “something is going on” in relation to Facebook, privacy controls around its data and Cambridge Analytica.
I review Facebook’s listed company announcements and results every quarter on this blog. For some time now, going back over 2 years, I have stated that privacy was “the sleeper”; an issue that should matter. But, consumers, in their actual behaviour, showed no sign of caring.
The combination of events that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal biting has finally lit the torch paper. Attitudes to privacy and how our data is being used are suddenly at the forefront of society’s collective consciousness, as the “delete Facebook” hashtag gains traction and people as diverse as Cher and Elon Musk delete their Facebook pages.
There have been many articles written on this topic however, there is one that I wish to draw your attention to.
Not for the first time on this blog, it is an article from Doc Searls that I want to reference. Apart from curating a number of insightful pieces in the current Facebook/Cambridge scandal, it draws out the broader longer-term underlying issues at play. Beyond Facebook, the entire digital publishing adtech system has systemic issues where privacy and online tracking is concerned. Well worth a read.
Facebook lost $50bn in market cap in the days after the scandal emerged. How brutal the further shake out that comes, remains to be seen.