Cambridge Analytica Impact in Asia: Privacy watchdog in Singapore to look into data-sharing scandal
Cambridge Analytica -- the political consultancy firm at the center of the Facebook data-sharing scandal -- is to shut down. Nearly 100 million users were affected across the world, many of whom were based in Asian countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. So just how worried are stakeholders about this privacy breach in these huge markets? Out correspondent in Singapore, Miro Lu has this report.
Justin Peyton is the Chief Strategy Officer at Digitas, a digital marketing agency. The firm helps their clients, which are usually multinational corporations, understand and better use technologies like social media for marketing purposes. He says the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook incident should be a wake-up call for social media users.
JUSTIN PEYTON CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, DIGITAS "It might be that you are using a tool for free, but they have to monetize some aspect of it and whether they monetize it by selling your data, or selling you ads, different businesses have different strategies. Knowing who you share your data with and how they monetize it is actually something you should know."
MIRO LU SINGAPORE "More than 70 percent of Singaporeans actively use social media platforms. The number, which is expected to grow, is more than double the global average. Thanks to the combination of fast mobile connections and high smartphone penetration, Singaporeans spend over half the day using their digital devices, much of that time spent in using a mobile phone, browsing, chatting, buying and sharing."
Singapore's Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has said that they are in contact with Facebook and are looking into the matter that data of 65,000 Facebook users in Singapore might have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. While regulators are investigating the matter, the public in the city-state seems relatively unconcerned.
MUNEERA 25, GRAPHIC DESIGNER "I'll be more careful but it wouldn't be a problem. Because I know my information is going to be shared online anyway."
RACHEL 24, MARKETING COORDINATOR "The thing is it's up to you, cause it's like you are the one who's sharing the information. You can just not share all the things on Facebook."
Peyton says in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, we should expect tighter rules from regulators as well as industry players.
JUSTIN PEYTON CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, DIGITAS "I think that what we're going to see is brands and businesses try to be more open with how they deal with people's data and allow people a greater level of control of their own personal data settings. I think that's going to be global, not just in Asia."
To share or not to share, that is the question social media users need to ask themselves. Perhaps completely cutting off from social media might be unrealistic for some. It is about striking a balance of having the great social connectivity and feeling safe about it. Miro Lu, CGTN, Singapore.