The Evolution of Data and Technology

NTWRK
The Company
31 July 2019

Data takes on a life of its own as technology continues to evolve. Social media platforms utilise an intuitive data-driven algorithm that draws from all data sources available to produce personalised ads. This movement towards artificial intelligence and automation is beneficial to businesses, but causes doubt among users with the way their personal data is used.

Is Big Brother watching? 

Facebook has long received the side-eye for one reason or another. Lately, users are accusing the social network of spying on them. Offline conversation topics began popping up as ads and suggested products on their newsfeeds. Though Facebook released a statement that vehemently denied this, the question still stands — is Big Brother watching?  

Through the years, the technology we use has adapted to utilise the information we make available to it. Many businesses adopt automated processes to ease the manual labour required for data tabulating and processing. However, in doing so, customer trust and brand credibility must always be at the forefront of their mind. 

Security breaches from within 

Establishing strong cybersecurity against data breaches and keeping a transparent privacy policy are two of many methods to ensure customer trust. It’s true that customers few and far between actually read the privacy policies put in place, but that doesn’t mean transparency isn’t a priority.  

Onavo, an Israeli app developer, was acquired by Facebook in 2013 and its VPN app was used for Facebook’s data slurping purposes. Instead of protecting user data behind a secure network, the app became a gateway for Facebook to monitor and analyse the online habits of its users. 

For this reason, the app was already banned from the Apple App Store in 2018. But following an illuminating (read: incriminating) TechCrunch report at the beginning of this year, Facebook was forced to not only pull the app from the Google Play Store, but to shut it down altogether.   

Despite this, Facebook stood by their “market research” tool; a statement released firmly reiterated that they hadn’t considered there to be any wrongdoing on their part. As far as the social network was concerned, there had been full disclosure at all times. 

Where? 

In their privacy policy. 

Privacy has no price 

As data and technology continue to evolve, brands and businesses must make the effort of protecting their customer data and privacy. If for nothing else, then for their own credibility. A brand without customer trust or loyalty is a brand that cannot grow.  

If privacy is sold to the highest bidder and cybersecurity is viewed as barrier to overcome and scale, then businesses cannot be trusted to self-regulate. And if a business cannot self-regulate, it cannot be trusted. 

So, how much is your brand trust worth?

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