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Did Cambridge Analytica manipulate your thought process?

mind manipulation

How private a person are you?

I’ve never been a particularly private person and didn’t ever really understand other people’s obsession with privacy – particularly if your surname is not Kardashian and you’re not in the public eye.

I would often tease my sister-in-law for refusing to use Facebook or any other social media platform. She fears that “undesirables” might use a photo or personal information of a family member for malicious purposes and in light of recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica maybe her fears are justified. The most dramatic impact of social media is that it has made our lives so much more accessible to others.

In fact, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which are coming into force on 25th May this year, came about largely because of the growth in social media and cloud services.

GDPR Cloud

Do email providers contribute to thought process manipulation too?

On receiving an invitation for an upcoming GDPR seminar hosted by Canon UK I quickly sent an email my wife to tell (ok, ask) her about it. A playful slagging match by email ensued where she accused me of gallivanting off to London without her and our two poor little children. She was conveniently forgetting that she had been on numerous trips abroad for work, including a recent visit to New Jersey, USA.

I quickly replied “Hey, who’s talking? Jersey Girl! ”.

This would have been quickly forgotten if I hadn’t received one of my regular email adverts the next day from Netflix, asking me did I want to watch the movie “Jersey Girl”.

Barring an outrageous coincidence, this to me was proof that my extremely large multinational email provider was sharing information contained within my personal emails with Netflix, in order for them to target me with ads.

This innocuous, yet creepy, incident changed my attitude to privacy. It seems you don’t have to be a reality TV sensation for large corporations to want to use your personal information for commercial gain.

It was a huge reality check for me.

jersey girl


How can GDPR help?

One of the aims of GDPR is to clamp down on this practice. More importantly, all organizations will be obliged to put measures in place to protect customers or employees personally identifiable information that may be held on file.

My new found concern with privacy and security has helped me appreciate the many vulnerabilities in the average office environment through which data breaches can occur.


How can Cantec help you comply with GDPR?

Cantec can contribute to GDPR compliance by helping our customers protect personal and commercially sensitive data. For either hard copy or electronic documents, we can secure the print environment through some key accessories to multifunctional printers and print management software.

In short, we can offer simple solutions that pack a big punch in terms of security.

As for my Jersey Girl experience the recent revelations of Cambridge Analytica’s practices are perhaps just the tip of the ice-berg. People will not forget this story in a hurry!


Greg Tuohy

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