Cambridge Analytica

Recently in the media, a new scandal has immersed. Usually, I don't pay much attention to politics, but the Cambridge Analytica scandal relates to digital marketing. In specific, the incident relates to Facebook Advertising, which I have done a lot of. If you have heard something from the media about Cambridge Analytica, what you are hearing is most likely false. Cambridge Analytica did not play the Facebook Advertising game like me, and most, they utilized an under-used loophole to gather data. Cambridge Analytica created an application for mobile phones, gathered a large number of downloads, and then brought that data to Facebook to advertise. Although the data collection method which Cambridge Analytica used was not typical, they did not do anything wrong in Facebook's terms of service or the App Store's terms of service. Facebook allowed for third-party applications to translate their data over to Facebook for advertising purposes. The only reason that this instance has caused such a buzz in the media, is because the data was used in hand with the 2017 Presidential Election. And with advertising being legal in political elections, and the data not being attained in an illegal manner, there were no crooked tricks played. Many do not understand that the data was attained lawfully, and the data was handed over from consumers like me and you. Have you ever been asked to check-in a box and agree to a terms and service? If you have, then most likely you have given up rights to some of your data. What is this data used for you may ask? The data is used to make an independent profile based on one's, age, gender, interests, income, relationship status, home ownership, shopping habits, consumption habits, and much more. Opinions may differ from person to person on what they think about big organizations having so much data on the consumer population, but don't be mad at them, because if one agrees to their terms and services, then one is giving away their "data rights".  In my opinion, I feel that it is a great thing that our data is collected because the data is used to make advertisements personalized to each individual. For example,  a ten-year-old boy on the internet should not be receiving advertisements on opening a 401K, but if a young man in his twenties that is starting his career is shown that same advertisement for the 401k, it may end up changing his life.

Jake Blanchfield