Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Scandal


You will have no doubt read the recent revelations that a political data firm, Cambridge Analytica, has smuggled millions of users’ data out of the site, exploiting a loophole in Facebook’s platform. The story was broken initially by The Guardian newspaper.

It is important to point that nothing illegal has happened here. There was no hack or data breach. But this affair has just shown the extent to which Facebook’s data and privacy policies are sub-standard and this has led to a massive breakdown in trust in the platform.

The World Federation of Advertisers( WFA) came out with a public statement last Thursday (here and here). The UK association, The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers ( ISBA), has also adopted a public position and ISBA Director General Phil Smith has been vocal in the press. Members around the world have asked for a full position.

Our main concern in the AAI centres on claims that other apps using Facebook have collected similar amounts of personal data in the context of equally inadequate data controls and that those data have been or are being misused. As such, WFA and, on a local level The AAI, will be requesting that Facebook offers a full account of any potential future issues so that we can help brand owners take appropriate measures.

The WFA have called on all associations around the world to ask their interlocutors at Facebook for similar assurances in order that they can be in the best possible position in order to meaningfully safeguard the interests of advertisers.

To view the AAI position click here.