Facebook is still dealing with the fallout from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal. Once the public found out that both Facebook and the British political consulting firm were profiting from owning people’s personal data, the floodgates opened: there were big, ugly headlines, PR headaches, and a slew of customers everywhere considering whether they should leave Facebook altogether.
Facebook is now taking action to confront the Cambridge Analytica problem—but will it be enough?
The Washington Post recently reported that Facebook is suspending 200 apps in the wake of the scandal, cutting ties with some potentially shady characters who are alleged to be misusing people’s information. The company has announced that it’s performing an in-depth internal audit and a “thorough investigation” into whether the suspended apps misused people’s data.
Having said that, Facebook will still have to deal with a major hit to brand confidence, as Forbes noted. People used to turn to the site (and/or app) constantly, as part of their daily (or even hourly) routines; now, not as many customers are confident they can trust Facebook.
“So far, this scandal reaffirms that trust needs to be the cornerstone of your brand and your clients’ interest,” Bernard May of digital marketing agency National Positions told Forbes. “Facebook must have anticipated that a scandal surrounding personal data was bound to occur sooner or later. A platform based on people uploading their personal data can’t not consider this a top priority.”
It’s a good thing Facebook has a strategy to combat the bad PR, because it looks like the bad PR is going to keep coming. Capitol Hill is still holding hearings to discuss Cambridge Analytica and data privacy, and the Federal Trade Commission continues to investigate Facebook’s past involvement with Cambridge Analytica. The longer this story remains in the news, the more damage Facebook’s reputation may take, which means having a strong response will be crucial.
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