Did you do the personality test on Facebook? I can't remember if I completed the quiz that Cambridge Analytica created but I have certainly done similar fun quizzes in the past and am disturbed by the idea that these would have been a 'portal' into my Facebook profile and posts. Maybe I am being naive but when our business is going through the task of demonstrating that we are compliant with data protection, it is concerning that Facebook has not been as protective of our data.
In his statement Mark Zuckerberg said that a 'breach of trust had occurred'. So what can he and Facebook do to repair and rebuild trust in the business? Here are some guidelines:
- Leaders need to be accountable, they need to stand up and acknowledge the issue and find the right words to apologise to their stakeholders. They need to show empathy, be seen to listen to concerns. Lawyers frequently advise against saying sorry but if you are too 'weaselly' in your wording then you will not be starting off on the right path.
- Businesses need to show that they are in control (or have regained control), are investigating what happened and then be open in sharing their findings and how they are going to correct the issue. Share what policies and practices are being put in place to protect stakeholders and to prevent a repeat of the problem.
- The business needs to be clear about the change it is committing to - what behaviours it expects to demonstrate and what values the business and its employees should adhere to.
- Lastly, speed is important. Even if you do not have all the answers it is important to put 'your hands' up straight away and face the fire; the quicker you do the quicker you can put it out.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the social network "made mistakes" that led to millions of Facebook users having their data exploited by a political consultancy. Cambridge Analytica is accused of improperly using the data on behalf of political clients. In a statement, Mr Zuckerberg said a "breach of trust" had occurred. In a later interview with CNN he said he was "really sorry", and pledged to take action against "rogue apps". He added that he was "happy" to testify before Congress "if it's the right thing to do". In his statement posted on Facebook, he promised to make it far harder for apps to "harvest" user information. "We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Mr Zuckerberg said.