Mozilla, the company best known for its Firefox web browse, is “pausing” advertising on Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In a blog post, Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s chief business and legal officer, says the recent allegations have caused the company to “take a closer look” at Facebook’s default privacy settings, given its “support of the platform through ad dollars”. What it found, she adds, is those settings “leave access open to a lot of data”, particularly for third-party apps.
Facebook has come under pressure after a series of damaging investigations headed by the Guardian into the access given to third-party apps and its response to it. It is alleged that Cambridge Analytica had access to the data of 50 million Facebook users.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who had kept quiet on the rising scandal for almost five days, last night (21 March) began a media offensive designed to rebuild trust in the social network and lay out how it is dealing with the allegations.
Action includes investigating all the apps that had access to user information before it changed its rules in 2014 and making it easier for users to change their privacy settings by moving the tools to the top of the news feed. Facebook will also be restricting the data third-party developers can access to name, email address and profile picture; any app that requires more data will have to get approval and sign a contract, and access will be removed if a user hasn’t been on their account for three months.
While these steps go some way to allaying concerns, Mozilla wants more. Dixon says it wants “stronger action” on how it shares customer data, specifically around default privacy settings for third-party apps, before it will consider returning.
Brands will need to play a major role in rebuilding a digital ecosystem where people decide who they share their data with, when and how.
“We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning,” she says.
“We look forward to Facebook instituting some of the things that Zuckerberg promised today.”
Other advertisers are taking more of a wait-and-see approach. At Advertising Week Europe, taking place in London this week, there has been much talk of marketers wanting to ensure as much as possible is now being done to protect users, but no…