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Did Mark Zuckerberg breach trust? 

Facebook won the “breach of trust award” last week, but was it justified?

If you are a Facebook user, have you read the company’s data policy? Perhaps doing so would have elevated your awareness of the risks involved in using this popular social media tool.

Have you ever taken one of those free “silly” Facebook quizzes? Did you think they were being provided for your amusement, especially in cases where the user was paid to complete it?

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post raised the following points?

Those who enter the ecosystem of social networking should not suddenly be shocked that information is being shared.

This transfer of data to a third party (Cambridge Analytica) broke Facebook’s internal policies. In 2015, Facebook found out, removed the app and demanded the data be destroyed. 

However, users must be realistic. Social media platforms are in business to share. Anyone who spends time browsing online will soon discover hidden sinews that connect each click.

The Washington Post article can be read at this link.

I’m all for elevating trust and the first to admit that this example has me thinking twice. Did Facebook make mistakes by not ensuring that the data was destroyed. Yes. But perhaps this was as much a learning experience for Mark Zuckerberg as it was for Facebook users. After all, no company (or leader) is perfect. Understanding the risks, maybe too much trust was extended by Facebook’s users.

Did Zuckerberg breach trust? What do you think?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. A former consultant to McKinsey & Company, she also runs the world’s largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award- winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Governance & Accountability Institute, and in 2012 she was recognized as one of “25 Women who are Changing the World” by Good Business International. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch at the City University of NY.

For more information visit our website at www.trustacrossamerica.com

or contact barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

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Copyright (c) 2018, Next Decade, Inc.


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4 Responses to “Zuckerberg Breach of Trust? Not so Fast!”

  1. March 25th, 2018 at 13:45 | #1

    We hold Leader’s responsible for the mistakes made by their companies. If we don’t it becomes too easy to say “I didn’t know” and opens the door to even bigger trust breaches. If these two questions were asked:

    Is it factual
    Is it fair to all concerned (One of Rotaries 4 questions)
    this wouldn’t have occured.

  2. March 25th, 2018 at 13:58 | #2

    Thank you for weighing in!

  3. March 26th, 2018 at 11:13 | #3

    I certainly agree that users have a responsibility to be informed going in, rather than blindly trusting, and retroactively blaming others, particularly when it comes to new technologies.

    That said, it’s been my experience (and I think I’m not alone) that Facebooks TOS is among the most impenetrable. I gave up long ago trying to sort through their various layers of privacy protection.

    Second, let’s not forget that FB’s very business model is highly dependent on making it easy for advertisers to target audiences.

    Finally, and for me most troubling, Zuckerberg’s deepest-held belief seems to be that the cure for all that ails Facebook is more Facebook – more sharing, more openness, more transparency. Shades of Google’s original “Do No Evil,” a laudable but arguably naïve guideline.

    I’m all for assuming the best of people and encouraging everyone to connect and collaborate more. I don’t doubt the sincerity of his belief. But it’s also true that, particularly at global scale, there are more than a few unscrupulous bad actors (to use the favored term du jour) out there. It is beyond the capacity of most of us to stay ahead of those actors, hence I agree with his apology – they should have done more, and we’re looking to them to do more in future.

  4. March 26th, 2018 at 11:19 | #4

    No company (or leader) is perfect. Let’s hope Mark Zuckerberg chooses to do more.

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