Isometric hooded man hacking internet

Another Day, Another Data Breach

Denis Storey
April 5, 2018

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Since the news broke that Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to mine the data of up to 87 million users without authorization to help the Trump campaign target voters, social media exploded — as it’s often inclined to do. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook took off. Celebrities, such as Cher and Will Ferrell, started dropping the social media network.

Brands followed suit. Web browser Mozilla announced it would stop advertising on the platform. Elon Musk killed Tesla’s two pages. Playboy, that time-honored harbinger of morality, also deleted its page from the network. Although I’m sure they only used it for the articles.

The company’s stock also took a beating, falling as much as 20% in the immediate aftermath of the story.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has since announced he’ll testify before Congress over the breach as soon as next week. COO Sheryl Sandberg, who’d leaned out of the controversy until recently, added that the company is willing to work with regulators to prevent something like this from happening again.

#DeleteFacebook is No #MeToo

But this is no #MeToo movement. Investment firm Raymond James found that only 8% of users plan to stop using the social network despite all the professed outrage. This even though more than 80% of survey respondents claimed they were “somewhat” or “very concerned” about how Facebook uses their data. For all the sound and fury, this new movement doesn’t seem to signify anything, since it’s no longer even trending on Twitter.

After months of reported data breaches — such as Equifax and Yahoo — and the ongoing story of how Russia might have influenced the 2016 presidential election — the public is particularly sensitive to data breaches. But it’s worth noting that the British consulting firm didn’t technically hack Facebook or its users. They exploited a feature that Facebook promotes to advertisers. It just did so without anyone’s explicit permission.

As far as anyone can tell, Cambridge Analytica didn’t break any laws. Although Common Cause, a government watchdog group, has since filed a pair of complaints alleging the company did just that. In the complaints filed with both the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission, the nonprofit claims Cambridge Analytica violated election laws that forbid foreign nationals from participating in the U.S. election process.

TraceGains Takes Data Seriously

These headlines and hashtags might make TraceGains customers, prospects, and suppliers wonder if their data is safe. It is. Data is the bedrock of what we do at TraceGains, so we’ll never permit any unauthorized use of your private information.

For companies like Facebook, their users are the product. They sell their data to advertisers. We don’t. Our customers – and suppliers – are not our product. We treat the data we handle as confidential, and there are several features embedded in our software that allow suppliers to dictate who has access to their data.

TraceGains helps food, supplement, and CPG manufacturers comply with any independent or regulatory standard. Even better, TraceGains digitizes and automates business processes for a secure and transparent supply chain, learn more about the TraceGains Product Suite.