Welcome to my firm's website.  I like to share here on a monthly basis

my thoughts on Strategy, Business Planning, Innovation, and Execution.

 

To access previous columns, hover your pointer over "Mario's Corner" in

the navigation bar and select the column you would like to read.  In a mobile

device browser, these are listed under "Mario's Corner" in the menu.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​-----------------

 

I wrote in January's column about the fact that consumers are losing trust in technology and social network companies (go to column here) due to the lack of transparency and the manipulation/abuse of their personal data by these.  I mentioned that companies needed to take four steps to protect the public and prevent loss of trust in them.  I recommended the following four steps:


1.  BE TRANSPARENT AND COMMUNICATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CLEARLY.

2.  NOTIFY CUSTOMERS IMMEDIATELY IF THERE IS A DATA BREACH.

3.  EXPLAIN HOW CUSTOMERS' DATA WILL BE USED AND WITH WHOM IT WILL BE SHARED.

4.  RESPECT CUSTOMERS' WISHES REGARDING THEIR PRIVACY.


Unfortunately, given the recent news regarding Facebook's failure to protect their users' data, this was a prescient column.  To be clear, this was NOT a breach.  Instead, Facebook allowed outside parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access users' data and then failed to ensure that the data was destroyed.  Thus, Cambridge Analytica kept and sold that data to political groups that then exploited it for political purposes.  Although Democrats and liberals are upset about this since it allegedly helped President Trump's campaign, let's NOT forget that this is exactly what groups supporting Obama and the Democratic National Party did so successfully in the 2008 and 2012 elections.  As a matter of fact, The New York Times and other news organizations proclaimed this type of political use of data as "innovative and breakthrough" at the time.


Unfortunately, Facebook, instead of accepting the blame for its mistakes, followed the same M.O. that it has perfected over the last few years when confronted with this type of problem.  First, it refused to comment under the excuse that it was "investigating the matter," hoping that the clamor for it to address the issue would die down.  Secondly, it tried to issue combative denials that it had done anything wrong.  Finally, Mark Zuckerberg issued statements that did not admit culpability.  An example of his "not my fault" (verbatim) comments are:


"There are some really nuanced questions, though, about how to regulate which I think are extremely interesting intellectually. So the biggest one that I've been thinking about is the question of: To what extent should companies have the responsibility to use AI tools to kind of self-regulate content?"


Does this sound to you like an admission of fault?  I didn't think so either.  Additionally, there has been a memo circulating within Facebook for years that was written by Facebook Vice President Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, titled "The Ugly" that recently became public.  In it, this high-ranking officer states that (again verbatim):


"We connect people.  Period.  That's why all the work we do in growth is justified.  All the questionable importing practices.  All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends.  All of the work we do to bring more communication in.  The work we will likely have to do in China someday.  All of it...  So we connect more people, that can be bad if they make it negative.  Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing them to bullies.  Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.  The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people is de facto good"


Again, does this sound to you like a company that hesitates to use data that could impact its users negatively?


The bottom line is that, whether or not these utterances and statements impact one's belief that Facebook is a company that cares for its user and that it practices ethical marketing, the reality is that anyone who uses Facebook, Amazon, Google, Twitter, or any of the technology or social internet companies does so at his/her own risk.


I will not delete Facebook, as many consumers and companies are doing, but I always have and will continue to use all of these sites/companies carefully and remain aware that the only reason that they offer me "free" benefits is that they are trying to monetize me and my data.  As always, there is no such thing as a free lunch - and anyone who believes that there is has no concept of marketing/advertising practices by these companies in today's world.


​------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​​


Please do not hesitate to call me at 1 (617) 391-0347 or e-mail me at mariocastaneda@bluesailconsulting.com to talk about this or any other column.  I always like to hear from clients and readers.  


Also, please don't forget to read my interview with BostonVoyager magazine.  To read it, click here.

 

Please contact us if you want to find out how we can help you and your organization market and promote your products and solutions ethically and effectively.

 

I look forward to seeing you again here in May!

 

Warm Regards,

 

​Mario

Mario's Corner - April 2018.  

Facebook's Problems And Their Impact on Consumers' Trust in Marketing.