CCUL Headlines: Industry Insight

Does Facebook know you better than you?

Thursday, March 29, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sundeep Kapur, Digital Credence
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facebook data in your hands

Cambridge Analytica controversy warrants attention and education.

Imagine losing $100 Billion in market value because of a scandal and resulting fears.

It is no longer a secret that the flawed approach by Cambridge Analytica was misuse of user information collected via Facebook. The political data firm had access to detailed information--and claims to have since deleted it since--for over 50 million Facebook users, giving the firm an unfair and perhaps an unethical advantage in reaching and influencing consumers in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Truth is, any random, unsophisticated person with a dollar a day and some provocative content can wreak havoc for their own gain. And in knowing that, the fear of harm is more destructive than the harm itself. In a few clicks a stranger on the other side of the world can have access to your data.

Will fear drive people stop using social media so they feel safer? Does it warrant withdrawal by the League and credit unions that have invested in social media or have been poised to do so? How can member-minded credit unions and individuals act to protect themselves? These are among the questions many are asking as security and privacy are major concerns in our digital, data-driven world.

The hashtag #deletefacebook was popular after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica news broke. Quite a few people may have deleted or taken a break from their accounts. The good news for Facebook is that despite the outcry, consumers and advertisers will continue to use the immensely popular platform. For millions of people, it is an important part of their daily lives. It’s a way to stay connected to family and friends across the world instantaneously.

User caution due to recent events is appropriate. Rest assured the problem is not Facebook's data privacy, greed, or perceived subversiveness. Rather, it is the unsuspecting individual who falls for fake news, readily gives permissions to apps without reading the fine print--as I have--and is unfamiliar with social network mechanisms.

We each need to be smarter when using Facebook, avoiding third-party sites or links on its platform. We also need to leverage available information (even directly from Facebook) to understand how privacy and personalization intersect.

This is an education problem disguised as a privacy issue. For credit unions, a learning document now in progress will address the following essentials, supporting careful, effective strategies.

  1. The numbers and attention behind Facebook, Instagram, and social media
  2. The right way to access Facebook data
  3. Tracking and insight
  4. Driving results on your messages
  5. A six-step process to amplification
  6. The do's and don'ts of Facebook/Instagram etiquette
  7. Specific ideas for credit unions

Stay in touch with League Communications, especially with any specific questions or concerns. Just as data is at the heart of the Facebook issue, member input is invaluable in making this and other tools as useful as possible for all.


Sundeep Kapur is a 24-year veteran of corporate America as business and technology consultant who now educates brands on best practices so they can achieve the same success. He seeks to address financial institutions' challenges through innovative, yet pragmatic approaches.

Sundeep's OMNI-channel expertise has helped many brands succeed, and his specialty is consumer engagement across multiple channels with relevant messages. Sundeep has a B.A. in Economics, a B.S. in Computer Science, and an MBA.

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