One year on Cambridge Analytica still haunts Facebook users

Two-thirds of social media users are aware of the Cambridge Analytica privacy breach that made news headlines one year ago in March 2018, but just under half view Facebook negatively as a result according to a new report from data driven marketing firm, The Manifest.

In March 2018, The New York Times broke the story that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica acquired the personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission. As a result, in the days that followed, just 27% of people declared that they trusted Facebook down from 79% the previous year.

But does the privacy breach still affect how people use and view Facebook? The Manifest surveyed 521 social media users to learn if the Cambridge Analytica data breach still influences their Facebook usage.

  • Nearly two-thirds of social media users (65%) are familiar with Cambridge  Analytica’s Facebook data breach that made headlines in March 2018.
  • The Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to impact how people view Facebook – nearly half of social media users (44%) view Facebook more negatively, including 15% who view it much more negatively.
  • More than one-third of people (37%) use Facebook less as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which shows that people still use Facebook even if they have a negative opinion of it.
  • The scandal impacted millennials most, with 41% of the generation using Facebook less since the data breach, compared to 37% of Generation Xers and 24% of baby boomers.

Facebook really tried to give an image that this type of thing wasn’t happening, that their data was safe. To see something like this come out, it was a blow to many consumers who were otherwise trusting.

Steve Pearson, CEO of Friendemic

While they [consumers]may say they have concerns, I don’t think it’s been enough for many of them to use Facebook less. That ‘Quit Facebook’ movement lost steam.

Chad Richards, VP of social media services at Firebelly Marketing