How the mighty have fallen. Facebook, the giant social media platform that boasted 2.2 billion user accounts as of late 2017, is under the microscope for apparently failing to notice the nabbing of data from 50 million accounts. What’s more, that ill-gotten information was then used as presidential campaign ammunition by Cambridge Analytica as it drafted a winning approach for the current administration in the White House. Santosh Devaraj from Secure Logic, a cyber security management company that has overseen projects for equally large corporate entities, is closely watching this situation as it continues to unfold. That’s because Santosh Devaraj is well aware of the repercussions of failing to keep a close watch on your network and the highly-personal data it is entrusted with.
According to a recent Fox News article, the fact that Facebook failed to track user data and didn’t immediately respond when it was swept away may in fact be in violation of 2011 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violations, “which required Facebook to better protect the data of its users and be more transparent in their use of users’ data.” After drilling down into the information all Facebook users openly and willingly contribute to the platform, Cambridge was able to draft profiles of people and gauge their “openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism,” per Fox News. When it comes to political stance and voting tendencies, this could be valuable information. As the article states, this data was molded into “political advertising on behalf of the Trump campaign” without Facebook permission.
While Santosh Devaraj from Secure Logic has no connection to the Facebook folly, it’s certainly an interesting case to keep tabs on. When a company comes to Santosh Devaraj for system management, security and incident escalation, integrity monitoring and forensics, they are taking proactive steps to protect vital information. Since Santosh Devaraj from Secure Logic brings more than two decades of information security skills to the table, clients will quickly learn about possible network shortcomings and ways to enhance security. After all, companies ranging from Westpac Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia to IBM Asia Pacific and Qatar Telecom have come to Santosh Devaraj and company for guidance.
According to recent news articles, the Facebook fallout is only starting to rain down and the company dragging its feet after learning of the problem isn’t helping. While the value of user-contributed data as it pertains to advertising has never been in doubt, its use as campaign fodder opens new doors. Unfortunately for the social media company, those doors seem to be leading toward a public relations nightmare.