The Facebook hits just keep on coming. The latest is a NY Times expose around Facebook’s lack of privacy or data protection when it came to their strategic partner integrations. Citing some examples won’t do it justice and the entire article is worth a read just to see how loose Facebook was with user data. It’s shocking how ridiculous some of these practices were. I’m not surprised by the data Facebook is collecting or how it’s being used for ad targeting but I’m amazed at how much data they allowed to leave their platform. Facebook’s entire bread and butter is user data and letting it leave the “walled garden” for some short term benefit was misguided. It’s impossible to get that data back and especially now with everyone eagerly looking for Facebook’s missteps it makes them look especially imprudent.
It really does seem Facebook doesn’t understand their data. On one hand they’re leveraging the hell out of it to advance their product but on the other hand they’re extremely cavalier with it. A while back someone made the point that Facebook sees user data as their own and not belonging to their users and therefore are not treating it with the care that it deserves. At the time that was a nice sound bite but felt wrong since Facebook’s entire business model is predicated on them taking care of user data. Unfortunately, the latest bit of news has me questioning Facebook’s ability and incentive to actually safeguard user data.