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Cambridge Analytica scandal: what should Herts businesses do?


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We asked our resident Facebook expert, Mark King, about the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. In this quick run-through, he offers an insight into how it may affect Herts businesses.

What is the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

The data analytics company allegedly harvested personal information from more than 50 million Facebook profiles. This was then used to target voters in the US presidential election with personalised political advertisements.

  The tech giant’s stock has plummeted, with CNN estimating its market value to have dropped by $59bn since the data breach was unveiled.

cambridge analystica scandal

How will it affect Hertfordshire businesses? 

I don’t think it will affect paid media too much – the breach is more about apps on Facebook and the data that they are allowed to receive/request. Default security and privacy settings do leave a big hole for apps to collect as much data as they want from Facebook users.

Facebook user figures are now under threat with search variations for ‘delete Facebook’ increasing 423% since the news broke, according to Hitwise.

I expect that more businesses will follow suit for a while then come back. I’m not sure that many people will actually leave Facebook. Consumers are addicted to social media. This might mean more uptake on other social platforms though.

At the end of the day, as a marketing agency, we work better with more data. The more we have available the better our advertising can be. Most of the data we use is interest data ‘Page Likes’ and how users interact and behaviour data like ‘who’s about to buy a new car’, ‘who has an anniversary coming up?’, ‘when does your car insurance come up for renewal?’

What should Hertfordshire businesses do? 

Companies should continue to advertise, but be more careful of the data that they are using to find their customers. Monitor responses to your ads in the comments to ensure that the targeting you are using is getting you in front of the right people and not annoying anyone.

Follow us on Twitter @Honcho_Search for the latest updates in the search industry, and even send us your thoughts!

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