Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending Mar 30, 2018)


Since it's been in news still and I've gotten questions on how Facebook's data leak happened, I think it's worth addressing here as a 50 million users' identities have been unknowingly shared. This user info helped get Trump elected.  

How Facebook Allowed Cambridge Analytica to Get Data for 50 Million Users

Summary: A Cambridge professor gathered data on 270k people for this website who used their Facebook login info to login to his site.  When you do this, the third party often can receive additional info, like your name, location, or friend list.  So, the site's developers took this data and built profiles for user's friends list from the original 270k.  Collectively, they were able to gather data like photos, status updates, check-ins, for a group of 50 million Facebook users.  For 30 million of those users, enough data was able to be extracted (because it was public) to build psychographic profiles on them.

This was all on the up-and-up until... the professor shared this with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook contended this did violate its terms of service.  Now, Zuckerberg and crew will be facing the FTC on its privacy violations.  Moreover, because there wasn't a straight ownership and apology of the mistake from Facebook, public mistrust grew giving rise to the campaign #deletefacebook.  

Opinion: You know when you have the option to login into other sites using your Facebook login information?  That's how data was shared across 50 million profiles on Facebook.  It's not worth the amount of data you share with third parties to save 2-3 steps in a login process.  

Snap Maps Hidden Easter Eggs

Summary: Snapchat added hidden Easter-themed surprised to Snap Maps.  Starting today, you can hunt for AR eggs and compete with friends for points.  Like Pokemon Go, it's a physical location based game, so you have to travel to different locations to collect eggs.  

Opinion: This is a great way to get people using Snap Maps, which has been deemed a priority product for the company.  Related to above, I wonder how Facebook's massive data leak will benefit Snap as a "secure" place to be digitally in comparison.  

Google's Articles for You Tab

Summary: Since adding a personalized article tab for "Articles for You" on Chrome mobile, it's driven 341 million article reads up from 15 million.  

Opinion: I like the convenience of being served articles that I may read.  However, I feel this could add to news bias in seeking out content that validates our views instead of coming across articles from both sides to try to understand different points of view.