Can Facebook Secure Your Information?

Facebook has been engulfed in a legal battle as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal emanated from the time Facebook allowed Aleksandr Kogan to integrate his personality quiz app with the social media platform.

It all started in 2013 when Facebook, in a bid to open its platform and offer users a more exciting experience, allowed 3rd-party app developers to integrate their apps with Facebook’s architecture. This new access to personal details of Facebook users led to Aleksandr Kogan integrating his personality quiz app with the Facebook app.

 This event would later come back to hunt Facebook as it seemed Kogan had other motives than just predicting human behavior through social media.
Realizing the potential risk that giving 3rd-party app developers access to confidential information without providing consent came with, Facebook announced that same year that they were changing the entire platform to drastically limit the way apps could access user data. What this meant was that apps like Kogan’s app could no longer ask for data about a user’s friends unless those friends also authorized the app.
It wasn’t until 2015 that it was uncovered by a journalist at the Guardian UK that Kogan had shared personal details of over 80 million Facebook users with Cambridge Analytica through his app. This is an outright breach of Facebook’s policies as developers aren’t allowed to share data without people’s consent. This led to a ban of Kogan’s app from Facebook. Facebook demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. Although they provided these certifications, it turned out that the data was never deleted, and Facebook never bothered to investigate.
All of this might have been swept under the radar but for the unexpected victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in America’s 2015 election. Following the disappointing American election of 2016, Americans have been searching for answers to understand how and why Trump won the election; from claims that Russia interfered in the elections to claims that Trump’s campaign team might have colluded with Russian government officials.
It is this search for answers that has landed Facebook in hot waters. The social media company has found itself in a legal battle for breach of contract and trust as it was found out that Cambridge might have used data obtained Kogan personality quiz app to help influence the outcome of the US election which brought Trump to power.
Facebook has been grilled by the American Congress and while it denies any wrongdoings, they have placed the blame squarely on Cambridge Analytica for misusing the data received through Kogan’s App. Cambridge Analytica has unleashed a counterattack against such claims that it misused the Facebook data, stating that they are a victim of misunderstanding and inaccurate reporting. Kogan himself also claims that Facebook has realized, “It was convenient to point the finger at a single entity”, when in fact the social media giant knew that its data was being misused on such a grand scale.
This mess has led to a lot of people questioning the ability of Facebook to protect their data, thereby leading to a Delete Facebook campaign. Notable names like Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, and Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, were reported to have deleted their personal and company Facebook pages respectively (no jokes).

     In the aftermath of this scandal, Facebook has taken steps to stop 3rd-party data for targeting by disabling ‘Partner Categories’, a form of advertising targeting which allowed prominent third-party data aggregators like Experian and Acxiom to provide clients with offline data like purchasing activity to inform ad targeting. They also plan to introduce an Un-send Message feature for Facebook Messenger after people realized Facebook was deleting Zuckerberg’s messages.
Taking their actions further, Facebook has finally banned Cambridge Analytica and Trump’s campaign operations team from using Facebook.
The waters have been quite muddy for Facebook since this scandal broke out and it appears they are making genuine efforts to ensure that they regain public trust.

However, you can’t help but wonder if this is too little, too late, and if we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of the biggest social media platform that is Facebook.

Why write a Brief ?

Every agency’s dream is to out-do the expectation of the client, in a positive way I mean. But once a  brief is not correctly written, the possibility of going back and forth becomes inevitable.

Just like our everyday conversation in any relationship, your ability to effectively code a message in a way that your receiver can also effectively decode is known as successful communication.

A brief is beyond a piece of information sent via email or hardcopy. It is a document that contains the most important information that the agency needs to provide a solution to.

Oral briefing is not advisable as spoken words can easily be misinterpreted if not backed up by a document.  Oral briefing should typically come in before or after a written brief has been sent.

Most importantly, understanding the key points in a brief is very important. Here are some points to note when writing a brief;

Product/Service Background

This should be a summary of your product or service, company and what it has to offer its consumers. Including details about your brand personality, brand voice, pricing or sales process and initial research here can be very useful too as it gives a clear picture of who you are as a brand and what you stand for.

Objectives

This is perhaps the most important part of your brief. Outline exactly what you want to achieve from this communication whether it be awareness, increased sales, lead generation, conversion, etc. This is to ascertain what success should look like.

 

Competition

Who are your competitors? Are there any industry insights you have? Stating who your competitors are will inform the agency of the direction you’re heading and where you want to be.

 

Target Audience

“I want to sell to everyone” doesn’t always work. There will always be a segment of the population that needs your service a little more than others. Are they businesses or consumers? Where can they be found or how can they be reached?

Duration

Knowing how long you want to run a campaign for or any other communications activity helps to put into perspective the objectives you have set and how realistically you can achieve them. You can include here any key milestones or deadlines that need to be met.

 

Key communication

This could be the key issue that needs to be addressed or that one thing your audience will benefit from using your product or taking an action. It is important to highlight this to help your agency tackle what is most important and ensure results are aligned to your expectations.

Budget

Know how much you want to spend. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with an elaborate plan that a client is not prepared to back up with funds. Having a ballpark figure is fine but it is best to have at the least, a range you are willing to work with. Saying “there is no budget” tends to waste time and energy. Have a budget in mind so that the agency can achieve your communication goals using the right medium in the most creative way.

There you have it. Now you know why putting together a brief ensures you get great results which will overall impact on your business goals and profit.

So what are you waiting for? Start writing and watch that agency (Us, put an emoji wink here) deliver on the amazing for you.

 

Good luck! J