Facebook ‘needs to get ahead of this PR nightmare’, says tech expert

Facebook ‘needs to get ahead of this PR nightmare’, says tech expert

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tech expert Guy Cocker has said that Facebook “needs to get ahead of this PR nightmare” after the social media platform was subject to a series of data protection scandals this year.

On Thursday, Facebook denied disclosing the contents of private user messages to 150 third-party firms as part of data-sharing deals with some of its partners.

The social network faced accusations in a New York Times report that it gave companies such as Spotify, Amazon and Netflix greater access to people's personal data than previously disclosed.

Mr Cocker, who is the global brand director of gadget magazine Stuff, told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham:  “It needs to get ahead of this PR nightmare because you are getting very famous people in the last couple of days – like Cher – coming off the platform.

“The prominent tech journalist Walt Mossberg is coming off the platform and the more people who do this, the bigger the problem Facebook has in terms of keeping its users.”


'The default should be no' 

Mr Cocker said “no one reads the documents” when they sign up for social media platforms.

“We are all humans, and we are all busy. No one reads those documents you get when you sign up for these platforms. These hundred-page documents no one reads,” he said.

“What Facebook needs to do now is get ahead of this story, and say ‘here is a history of what we have accessed from your data and who we have given it to’.”

He added: “Facebook needs to create a button or a page that when you login into Facebook that says ‘do you want other companies to access this?’ The default should be no.”

Facebook said the features never allowed third-party services to read any messages.