Facebook Privacy Ruling: Why Social Media needs Marketing Research

So, Facebook reached an agreement with the Privacy Commissioner and comply with Canada’s privacy laws.

Purveyors of social media services, community panels and monitoring tools take note and prepare yourself. This is going to become more common.

One of the promises of social media is more accountability and better targeting through listening to people and monitoring conversations (as some refer to it – a research-rich platform).

Sure thing, folks.

Until these “people,” who consider their online life to be a natural extension of their “real” life, demand their right to privacy in medium. Very much like what happened to Facebook in Canada.

Yes, people gravitate to social media platforms with the full realization that the getting something for free means giving up a little. However, there are limits to the extent people want to “give up a little” – and this is not the wholesale pillaging of personal information that was going on by third party application providers. In “giving up a little,” people’s right to privacy needs to be respected.

Where can social media purveyors learn about the due diligence required to be privacy compliant? The marketing research industry.

For years, the marketing research business has invested numerous hours, money and energy in respecting the rights of privacy of respondents and subjects. You can check out the some of these code of ethics in the links below. Getting a grasp on this and implementing these protocols – tried and true – would mitigate undue risks and be compliant with personal privacy legislation.

Links (just a few to get rolling):

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada’s Privacy Code

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada’s Code of Conduct

The Marketing Research Association’s Online Privacy Resources

Bottom line: At some point, any business that engages in social media needs to understand and comply with the privacy regulations.

And think… this medium can begin to set global standards in respecting online individuals’ personal privacy.

Brian F. Singh, CMRP
ZINC Research
Web: www.zincresearch.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/BFSingh
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/6/186/181

  • Kelvin55
    October 23, 2009

    Cameron asked two questions he knew Brown could not answer. ,

  • John Jones
    September 16, 2011

    If you’d like to conversate more on social media, and mobile device privacy and security, stop by techsafely.com, a new blog focusing on how to protect yourself and your privacy while using the modern web.

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