Facebook says ‘Privacy is Personal’ in public awareness campaign

As US, EU and UK regulators continue to express concerns over how Facebook handles citizens’ private data, the social network has launched a campaign in the UK designed to educate the public on its privacy tools.

The ‘Privacy is Personal’ campaign forms part of the company’s efforts to be seen as more trustworthy and transparent following on from the 2017 Cambridge Analytica scandal and other breaches – including a hack which compromised the data of 50 million people.

Based on its own research, Facebook found that 9 million Brits were confused about how to customise their privacy settings on social media.

The same survey revealed that only half of UK Facebook users knew how to control who sees their photos on the platform, while 22% didn’t know how to use the privacy tools an any social network.

So, to improve the awareness its own features and show that privacy isn’t binary, Facebook has launched a national consumer marketing push centred around how settings and preferences can be tuned to each individual.

Created by Possible, the push draws comparisons between how people have different privacy boundaries in real-life just as they do online. The hero video shows people on the beach with varying levels of modesty, linking it back to the different ways Facebook lets people control their settings.

Aaron Hoffman, UK marketing manager for Facebook said the business had a “responsibility” to highlight these features.

The 10-week campaign will run across various channels in the UK, including Facebook and Instagram, video-on-demand, digital, out-of-home, cinema, print and audio.

Media planning and buying was handled by Mindshare.

Earlier this month, Facebook opened a host of ‘Privacy Cafes’ in independent coffee shops throughout the UK, with staff on hand to help users check and manage their privacy settings.

Although it’s pumping money into a public awareness push around the controls it already offers, Facebook is still facing criticism from watchdogs for what they perceive as a failure to protect people’s information.

In July, the business was fined $5bn by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and forced to implement improved privacy oversight following various privacy violations.

At the start of August, the UK information commissioner Elizabeth Denham signed a letter along with other regulators from the US, Canada, Australia and the EU asking the social media giant to explain how it plans to handles sensitive financial data upon the launch of its Libra cryptocurrency.

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