The Cambridge Analytica case highlights the amount of data that gets shared on Facebook and then shared onwards to potential bad actors.
The immediate response from many has been to call for people to delete Facebook. However, there might be alternatives that can limit your exposure. As always, it’s worth doing some reading to ensure you are educated on the implications.
Option 1 – don’t #deletefacebook, but #limityourself
Lifehacker has some great advice here. If you are concerned about where your data goes from Facebook, then stop sharing so much. Limit your interaction, or even abstain. You can stop using or you can temporarily deactivate your account.
At least this option gives the company a chance to resolve its issues and/or put some controls in place. Reports are the Zuckerberg and Sandberg are hunkered down, dealing with this issue, so its possible they’ll make some changes.
Option 2 – don’t #deletefacebook, but #limitfacebook
I’m working it out, but I’ve already switched off many of the apps connected to Facebook, and I’ll be restricting the data that any of the other apps can have. I’ll keep an eye out to see if I lose out on anything.
At the end of May, the balance of power will shift towards consumers when thinking about how companies store and use their personal data. The new GDPR rules mean that companies will need to change the way they handle data or face serious consequences.
From May 25th, companies will need to be clear and concise about how and why they collect personal data, and what they use it for. Consumers will be allowed to access data that companies store about them, correct inaccurate details and have the right to limit data used by algorithms.
Penalties for failure to comply are high, with up to 4% of a companies turnover at risk if rules are breached. The first litigation in this space will be very interesting.
So what does GDPR mean for Customer Teams?
GDPR impacts any organisation that handles personal data, pretty much every business will be affected. Customer facing teams will need to be highly prepared and aware of the risks. Typically, the kind of data controlled by GDPR is stored in your CRM or Incident tracking system, which needs to be able to collect and store data in a compliant way.
Here are my thoughts on how to approach this:
Across the company – top to bottom, GDPR counts!
Firstly, it might be that Customer Service is at the frontline of this problem, but GDPR concerns the whole company and needs support from the top to the bottom. Engage the key stakeholders from across the business, including the boardroom and ensure that everyone understands the impact and potential penalties for not complying.
Know your data
Spend time really wallowing in your data. You would do it (I hope) to solve a customer journey issue or get insights from your customers – but now you need to really understand WHAT data you are collecting, how it is used and who has access to it. Only by completing this exercise will you truly know the issues you need to tackle.
This takes effort and real man-hours to do, but in doing so you’ll set yourself up for success.
Know the GDPR rules, know who can help!
GDPR applies even in a small business where customer information is held in a database. Given the risks of non-compliance, it seems logical that if you find issues you’ll need to solve them quickly. However, if you don’t feel you have the knowledge or support it may be worth going out to find some expert assistance in the problem. There are plenty of resources online, but my recommendation would be to start on the Information Commissioners Office website and work from there – all the appropriate rules and regulations are there.
The GDPR rules come into play at the end of May, and with attention currently heightened there will be no shortage of people testing the rules during customer interactions. I think there may also be ‘bad actors’ who think that exploiting the regulations would be a good way to do reputational or financial damage to companies.
Whilst these concerns may seem remote, they are also very real. It’s time to get working on your GDPR compliance strategy.
This is part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life. You can read the rest of the series here.
As the UK prepared for another ‘hysteria from Siberia’, our global Working Out Loud circle met again on Friday morning to bring some sunshine before the weekend!
So what did we do this week?
Our customary check-in asked an interesting question this week, ‘How do you feel about sharing your work online?’
As always, we had a variety of answers to this one. We talked about the boundaries between work and career, how it was important to make sure that your work-related posts stayed on the right side of confidentiality.
We also talked about the potential of imposter syndrome, and this is one that can affect me as well – the idea that sometimes I feel like I’m not really qualified to share something online, that I’ll be ‘found out’. Sometimes you need to embrace the ‘courage attack’ that our group is named after.
We also discussed the importance of knowing your audiences and how to differentiate – although some of us had the view that putting ‘it all’ out there and being authentically yourself online allows others to decide what they want to take from your work.
Onto the exercises and we shared our various resource lists, one thing to note is that we all had each other on our lists, which is another testament to the power of the WOL circle.
As part of this, we talked about using an ‘external brain’ to keep many of these lists and schedules in. I use Evernote as my second mind. All of my resources and reference guides are kept in Evernote for instant access and synced across my devices.
The Dinner Table University discussion was interesting, I’ve always encouraged this kind of discussion in my family – talking less about results and knowledge and more about critical thinking and discussions of opinion.
My key takeaways
Our resources lists are so wide, but all share our circle in common.
For me, I am reminded of the importance of a strong second brain to hold my resources and find things I need.
A series of posts where I document my ‘digital detox’ – reducing the clutter and streamlining my digital life.
I am lucky enough to work for a Global company, with head offices in New Zealand. The 24-hour cycle of stakeholders and communication make it tempting to be ‘always-on’. However, responsiveness quickly eats into work-life balance, and with a small organisation, it’s not always easy to delegate.
In addition, personal projects and a general love of news & reading mean that my various devices can ‘pull me in’ quite a lot.
So, as part of a household spring clean, I’ve decided to look at some measures to declutter my digital life and be more deliberate about my tech usage.
I have five main devices that call my attention constantly:
Windows Laptop – my work device
Windows Desktop – mainly used as file storage for the house
Clearing down my iPhone
Whilst thinking about my digital detox, it occurred that I should start with the device that seems to cause the most issues – the smallest, but possibly most used. Home and Work, Commute and Leisure – my phone is never really far away from me.
I started with the iPhone and took a ruthless approach to removing apps that are no longer used or are better used deliberately on a desktop machine. Checking flight prices whilst mobile? Very rarely done. Old games? Time to go. Apps that got used once? Gone.
I pared down my phone home screen to the things I use every day:
Then I turned off nearly all the notifications and badges. I already set my phone to silent most of the time, but the dopamine hit from many notifications is pretty pointless and distracting when you are trying to focus. I’ve left on work email alerts and WhatsApp – but set a do not disturb for between 2200 and 0600.
I removed myself from a number of old WhatsApp groups – and archived all my conversations to give me space back.
I archived all my photographs up to Google Photo – and cleared down my photo roll.
Clearing Down my iPad
I use my iPad mainly for personal things, around the house and whilst travelling for pleasure. I read the news every day, read various RSS feeds, browse the web and look up information. I often control Spotify or Sonos with my iPad and sometimes look at social networks.
Despite that leisure focus, I found I had installed Outlook to review work emails, and many of the tools I use at work. So it was easy to find myself looking at work items, whilst I was in my leisure time.
This was an easy fix, I spent an evening turning my iPad into a device that I would purely use for leisure and personal time – removing work-related apps, and being as ruthless on the remaining apps as I was on my phone.
After removing Outlook, I installed my personal Gmail on my iPad – allowing only personal mail to come into my personal time, more on that in a follow-up post.
I followed the same process with notifications, reducing things down to an essential few – sports scores, news headlines from my trusted source, banking alerts and very little else.
So, now my iPad is 100% focused on leisure time:
Building a new habit
The final part of my digital detox for my iOS devices is to implement a new habit. No phones, no tablets in the bedroom. We all know the blue light is harmful for your sleep, and it cannot be healthy to keep these things on your nightstand, even with the night-shift or flux function to change the light.
My previous habit was to keep my iPad by my bed, reading in the evening but then creating the temptation to pick it up when the alarm goes off and start reading work email. I’ve recently found myself scanning mail at 5.30 in the morning when what I really want is a slow wake-up and some exercise without the thoughts of work questions.
With work email gone, I now have no way to read it on my iPad, and less reason to keep it in the bedroom – so now, before bedtime I put it on charge in my home office. With no alerts of notifications, it stays silent.
This gives me one hour in the morning without a screen, to exercise and get ready for work – the first time I look at my mail is during my morning commute, to see if there is anything urgent for the day.
The next steps – my laptop and desktop, and then a focus on email and news feeds.
Have you undergone a digital detox – how did you do it? Share your ideas and wisdom in the comments, I’d love to learn from you.