• Federico Mori

Could your company survive a US$ 5 billion fine?

Unless your company has an astronomical annual revenue and sits on a gold mine, there are little chances that a $5 billion fine would pass unnoticed.


“How could I ever get a $5 billion fine though?”, you may now ask yourself. Well, if you are a company which collects, uses, or buys consumer data, then you must be particularly careful about how you use and store that information. On the other hand, if you don’t use data you might want to start thinking about using it, as you could be missing out on business opportunities and consumer trends.


The golden rule while manipulating consumer data is that privacy and security are the top priorities. In fact, the more data is collected, the more security is needed to protect sensitive information from breaches and potential cyber attacks. And this is where many companies, and Facebook in this case, have failed.


The $5 billion fine mentioned above, refers to the agreed settlement between Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2019. In fact, the tech giant will pay what can be considered pocket change (relatively speaking), given the massive annual revenue that reached $15 billion in the first quarter of 2019 alone, to the FTC over its “privacy missteps”. Specifically, Facebook started being investigated by the FTC back in March 2018, after the Trump-linked political-research firm Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw millions of Facebook members’ data being misused to run specifically targeted political ads. However, this was not the only privacy issue involving Facebook, as the social-media giant also experienced a security breach involving over 30 million profiles, and all sensitive information within them.


With this in mind, it is important to consider that, even though Facebook has been fined because of misuses of private data with third parties, none of the conditions negotiated with the FTC will prevent Facebook from keep collecting and sharing data, and they certainly won’t affect Facebook’s lucrative ad business, which solely relies upon that data.


There are surely going to be more statements against or in favour of Facebook’s approach to data, and chances are that you will either agree or disagree with what Facebook is doing.


However, at TIFY we believe that by prioritising ethics, data can provide immense value whilst respecting consumer interests and privacy. That’s why our approach to data science is radically different to Facebook’s: TIFY does NOT store sensitive information, and as a consequence does NOT sell sensitive information. Yet, we are able to provide incredibly valuable insights into your specific marketing campaign, searching throughout the whole internet, not storing a single datapoint.


With this approach, businesses who deeply care about their social and ethical impact in today’s world, can use TIFY’s platform. Considering that when it comes to a reliable use of data in order to maximise marketing efforts, ethics is just a matter of personal and social value, TIFY provides just that.


Drop us an email at info@tifyapp.com to know more about the product and join our pilot program free of charge.


Sources:

Bastone, N. (2019). Why Facebook is paying a fine of $3 billion to $5 billion. Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/why-facebook-paying-3-billion-ftc-fine-2019-4?r=US&IR=T.

Patel, N. (2019). Facebook’s $5 billion FTC fine is an embarrassing joke. The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/12/20692524/facebook-five-billion-ftc-fine-embarrassing-joke.

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