When Netflix released The Great Hack documentary earlier this year, many of us were shocked to see the way our personal data can be used. In this opinion piece, WP Engine country manager ANZ Mark Randall explains how brands can navigate this user concern.
In early 2018, the world watched on as Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress following accusations that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest consumer data and use it to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A newly released documentary from Netflix has brought to light many new insights, allegations, and misdeeds from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Great Hack has Australians on high alert with the realisation that this is a global issue, rather than being limited to the U.S.
The Great Hack
Facebook collects consumer data and uses it to build a stream of targeted content, just for you. Facebook uses that data to sell ad space to brands so they can more easily target potential customers. At the time of the U.S. election in 2016, Cambridge Analytica claimed to have over 5,000 personal data points on each American voter. Where did they get this data? A researcher launched an app in 2013 called Thisisyourdigitallife that requested access to the Facebook accounts of 300,000 users. The app exploited a loophole that allowed the researcher to collect data from both users of the app, and all the user’s Facebook friends.
The organisation used these data points to bombard users with fake news content, that was designed to manipulate voters and sway the polls. The campaign has since been criticised as being inhumane and having a fundamental disregard for democracy and basic human rights. Cambridge Analytica used similar tactics to influence political opinions around Brexit and manipulate voters in developing countries.
Many readers may find the tactics of Cambridge Analytica shocking. But if you think about it, you could argue that data may well be replacing oil as the world’s most valuable resource. In a digital economy, data and what you extract from that data is similar to oil a century ago. An untapped, massive asset that—depending on how you extract and use it—can have enormous rewards. But how do people really feel about their data?
A recent report from WP Engine revealed that a substantial amount of Gen Z’ers, some 45 per cent, are more than happy to offer up their data to organisations and businesses in exchange for a more personalised digital experiences.
While it seems that some generations are happy to offer up their information, this doesn’t mean that they’re happy for their data to be used in any way organisations see fit. Another report from WP Engine on AI technology revealed that 93 per cent of consumers want businesses to be transparent about how their data is handled.
With this trend in mind, how can we as businesses ensure we are acting ethically and responsibly with our data? Here are a few actions your business can take now to ensure you’re keeping your customer’s privacy in mind.
Open your algorithms. To trust computer decisions, ethical or otherwise, people need to know what you’re doing with their data and how your systems arrive at their conclusions and recommendations.
Don’t be evil. This one should be self-explanatory but it’s important to recite this mantra when building how your AI uses customer data.
Use Only What You Need. If you don’t need a certain set of data, you should leave it up to the customer if they want to share that. For example, if you are asking for a customer’s birthday, do you need the exact day? Or would a month be find. They can turn it off and on as they choose – as long as they feel they’re getting value and a benefit for that information.
The key is knowing the needs of your target audience. How do they feel about giving up their data? Can we give them more control? Is it going to make them feel part of a group? What are we actually doing with it?” Keeping this viewpoint of human psychology in mind, organizations must seriously consider where the limitations are: what information is collected and what is done with that information to enhance personalisation accurately, without being overly intrusive or creepy.
Independent brand and digital agency, Archibald Williams (AW) has been appointed to lead the NBA account across the APAC region. The NBA is one of the most prestigious sporting leagues in the world and basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Australia. Effective immediately, AW said it was “excited” to work across all digital, […]
B&T's shining a light on industry folk prior to adland. Preference given to anyone purporting actual UFO abduction.
Leading digital outdoor company QMS has announced it is the first-ever inaugural partner for Most Contagious APAC, the landmark London event by creative and strategic intelligence company Contagious, which will be showcased in Australia on Tuesday, 12 December in Sydney and Wednesday, 13 December in Melbourne. Most Contagious is an event that delivers key advertising […]
Omnicom’s data and analytics division Annalect has partnered with Meta, giving it access to Advanced Analytics (AA) – one of Meta’s privacy-focused measurement solutions – to provide Omnicom’s clients with future-proof, next-level measurement. Omnicom is the first holding company to have access to AA. AA allows advertisers to combine their first-party data with Meta’s ads […]
WPP’s AKQA has launched Fixmas.gift, an environmentally conscious AI-powered DIY assistant, affectionately known as Fixie, for a one-stop solution for all things repair. Fixmas.gift hosts an array of guides and inspiration to empower people to prolong the lives of their belongings or purchase pre-owned items that need a little love and care. Fixie can: Help […]
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]