IMAGE: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Data privacy is an age-old concern in the digital sphere. This week’s digital updates revolve around data privacy concerns for Facebook.
The fallout from the Cambridge Analytica story is continuing to damage Facebook’s reputation, and the social giant is scrambling to regain the trust of billions of users worldwide. Having seen their platform compromised by third-party influence, Facebook may be facing a long and winding road to redemption.
App Developers Will Have Their Access to User Data Reduced
Mark Zuckerberg has been questioned in depth about how he plans to better protect data privacy on his platform. It appears that app developers are in the crosshairs, as Facebook have announced that their access to personal data from Events, Groups and Pages APIs will be severely limited.
These data privacy changes will be enacted in the next few months, but Facebook have already cracked down on apps that target Facebook login information. As of now, all applications that request access to data such as likes, check-ins, photos, posts, events and similar must be approved by Facebook first. While the platform has been reviewing applications since 2014, they promise that the approval process will be significantly tightened going forward.
Access to specific personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status, work or education history and similar will be completely out of reach to app developers.
Users who have had their data compromised by a third party will receive a personalised message that looks like one of the above, depending on the nature of the breach that took place. This example is specific to the ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ app that was used to share data with Cambridge Analytica.
Ad Targeting via Email Without Consent Will Be Eliminated to Improve Data Privacy
Facebook announced at the end of March that they will launch a certification tool to keep marketers in check when it comes to ad targeting. Marketers and agencies will be required to pledge that the information they have received has been rightfully obtained.
All agencies using email for ad targeting will have to affirm … ‘I certify that I have permission to use this data.’ Custom Audience data will also be protected, with sharing across business accounts shut down by the platform.
A Facebook spokesman noted to TechCrunch that there have always been safeguards in place to ensure that data is used with consent, but the new certification tool will make requirements more prominent to advertisers.
Instagram Removes Support for Older API Platform and Limits Data Availability
With their parent company Facebook under siege, Instagram have also sought to alleviate data concerns by shutting down their older API. Instagram had already announced in January that support for the older platform would be gradually removed, but they’ve gone ahead and removed capabilities effective immediately.
The photo platform has also greatly reduced the amount of data that developers can draw from the Instagram API. The API limit has been cut from 5,000 calls per hour to a mere 200, impacting the way app developers learn about user habits and interactions.
While most of the anger regarding data privacy has been directed at Facebook, subsidiaries like Instagram are taking no chances in cutting off the potential for data abuse.
Outstrip the Competition with Social Strategy from Studio Culture
Social media evolves constantly and rapidly. The events of recent months are a timely reminder for marketers and users about the importance of ethical practice regarding data privacy.