It is a widely-known fact that information is power. Those who have your data can use it to track you, reach you, understand your likes and dislikes, etc. In today’s digital world, all brands get information about their customers very easily. In recent times, there has been a lot of conversation about users’ privacy and how much information different platforms / portals should have. At the centre of this heated argument have been Facebook and Apple – both with contrasting opinions.
Why does this concern you?
Because they are discussing whether YOUR information should be in the public domain or not!
So what are they saying?
According to the new improvement / update in iOS, any websites / portals / developers are supposed to ask your permission before taking your information. It is to protect your privacy and maintain transparency. This means that they cannot perform targeted marketing basis the choices you make, which is Facebook’s proposition. Facebook currently takes a lot of user data, from both first and third parties so that they can utilise and monetize the data by creating target profiles which can be used by brands. Over time, Facebook has been expanding its boundaries to take more information with every click, every video you watch and every word you speak.
This means that every activity you perform on your phone, be it work or pleasure, banking or social media, research or binge-watching, the internet can keep track of everything. With mobile phones playing an important role in both personal and professional lives, bank details, confidential information, etc., is all available easily and having that leaked can be a big risk.
However, what we need to understand is that Apple is not saying it will not take data to do target advertising. It does not intend to ban advertising on its platforms. What they propose is simply that users should have the transparency and the choice to decide whether they want their information to be available to other platforms or not. The choice will allow them to know what information is being shared and what the platforms can use it for.
According to Facebook, giving this option and empowerment to users can impact the platform’s business in a massive way. Apart from that, it can also affect the way small businesses sell themselves because not everyone can afford big banners or advertisements. Social media marketing is affordable, effective and gives immense ROI. All these qualities can be attributed to companies like Facebook who collect a whole lot of data from their users and then offer it to these businesses. They can then use this information to pinpoint their target market and align their finances to reach out to them in the most effective way possible.
With the immense chatter around this topic, it is getting increasingly difficult to understand which is the more beneficial option. What do we choose between being offered better marketing and information breach? With time, we will find out.
- By Mr. Vikram Kumar, Co-Founder & Managing Director, SRV Media Pvt. Ltd.