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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

I wrote this article on how companies need to have a different attitude to data, especially people’s data.

With GDPR regulations coming into force in Europe, companies outside of Europe that trade in Europe and for companies that are outside Europe that have European employees there is already a framework, through GDPR.  GDPR is mainly just an update to existing legislation but the fines of 4% of turnover seem to be concentrating people’s minds.

(If you are not yet GDPR compliant, then I wrote a blog about what we did as a company to become compliant you can access it here it also offers you a free power point presentation.)

Anyway what has this to do with Facebook?

Facebook has been in the news because it allowed a company to syphon off data.  Very simple, the company ran one of those quizzes we always see and the company was able to pull off not just your data, but your friends and your friends of friends data too.  Facebook has since updated it’s security settings.

I think we all agree this is terrible that firstly people are profiting from yours and my data.  Our friends data, our families data, your and my mums data.  This is wrong and has to stop.

(Interesting there is no mention yet of LinkedIn, they stopped people “scraping” the data and are being sued by the data scraping company.  Obviously if LinkedIn lose that case it will be legal to scrape data.  Another blog for another day perhaps.)

Everybody seems to agree what Facebook has done is bad.  Then the first comment I get on when I post the article on LinkedIn is

The person is from Canada.

This person obviously does not seem to grasp the severity of the situation here.  I’m sorry, but you cannot play fast and lose with other people’s data anymore.  Didn’t we just agree this above?  And in sales it’s different?  Really?

But Here’s The Rub

I’m not going to publish this person’s name or the company they work for, but if their employer gets to see that comment.  I suspect they would get fired.  People cannot play “fast and loose” with other people’s data anymore.  And just like we cannot say certain words (quite rightly as they offend people), we cannot anymore write on social media that you don’t care about mine and my mum’s data.

It’s Time for Education

It’s time for companies to grow-up about social media and data and provide company-wide training, similar to health and safety, bribery, diversity etc.  Companies cannot have their employees employed in “fast and loose” practices with people’s data.  Companies cannot have their employees talking on social media that they don’t care about your data and mine.

Now I agree that GDPR should help too clear this up, but in the light of the current Facebook situation companies can no longer ideally sit by and let there employees use data like it’s the “wild west”.

Finally whose responsible for this?  The CEO of course, data, privacy and social media is a Board Room (C-Suite for US readers) issue.  Just as Mark Zuckerburg the CEO has been pulled into this and is expected to answer for Facebook, so will the CEO of your company.

People who read this also read these articles:

6 Lessons I learnt leading a Social Selling programme

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Only 22% of Marketers Understand GDPR!



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