An important note. Our monthly digests don’t just observe posts from our blog. They also contain noteworthy industry highlights that have not been covered by the blog.
Facebook is generally one of the main stars of nowadays’ data drama. Its activities consistently raise questions about privacy, ad targeting, tracking, and blocking. But this March it has surpassed itself, losing billions of market value after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Mark Zuckerberg spoke to New York Times about the latest scandal around Facebook.
Several years ago an analytic company bought the information about 50 million Facebook users from an app developer. The company claims to have used this data for influencing political campaigns and presidential elections. You'll find the full coverage of the events in the second part of this article.
The analytic software is a greedy monster that devours all the data it can get, no matter how sensitive and private. And no matter if the company owning the software even has a clear plan of making money out of these data. Sometimes they just get trouble instead of profits.
For example, this February, mobile web analytics provider Mixpanel caught itself (and it’s SDK users) collecting user passwords that people typed into forms on sites. Mixpanel soon announced the bug fixed. But, as researchers say, it keeps saving passwords from input fields on some sites even after the patch was released.
The ancient proverb about a mountain that gave birth to a mouse fits perfectly to describe the events of this February in ad blocking. Google started blocking ads in Chrome! We've been waiting for it for about half a year!
A recent poll by Global Web Index shows that ad-blocking users aged 21-34 (millennials) often pay for content, but mostly for video (movies, TV, streaming) and music. Only 18% paid in the past month for an e-book, 17% — for learning materials, and 13% — for a news service.