On the heels of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has started getting serious about addressing its users’ concerns about privacy. This is why Facebook has decided to disable the search functionality of looking up users by either a phone number or email address. This cripples merchants that rely on searching Facebook directly, linking to Facebook from review tools, or are working with data providers that scraped the social media site to build robust profiles.
In a statement, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer stated:
Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way.
While Facebook is in the spotlight due to their recent press, it is almost a guarantee that other social media platforms will follow suit to avoid exposure to breaches and protect their end users. No longer will user information be readily available to anybody just by searching with a phone number or email address. This change instantly halts manual review agents’ ability to link into Facebook to evaluate somebody’s social media profile. It also means anybody with a sophisticated web crawler can no longer programmatically assess a user’s digital social profile.
The landscape of data availability is constantly evolving, either from new regulations, such as GDPR, or policy changes at any given data source, such as Facebook. So how can businesses mitigate the risk of any given data provider pulling the rug out from underneath them? First and foremost, ensure that the vendors and partners they work with have the legal rights to license the data they are providing, and that the data they receive is designed to solve their business problem, such as fraud prevention.
Ekata has been sourcing data legitimately for over 20 years and are always asked how we source and vet our data. To provide the best global identity verifications solution to our customers, we build our products from only the highest quality data and use sophisticated data science to ensure accuracy, stability, and scale in our solutions. We do this by applying pattern recognition, predictive analytics, and machine learning to the five core consumer data attributes of email, phone, person, physical address, and IP to deliver an accurate indicator of risk on any transaction. We have never relied on scraping or free APIs to build our products, our dynamic Confidence Score, or to determine the risk behind an email address. Because of this, our solutions and identity data remain unscathed by these changes, which is why we’re working around the clock with customers and prospects that now find themselves without a key part of their risk assessment toolkit.
Contact us to learn more about how we link digital and traditional identity data attributes together to assess an identity.