The current Facebook debacle should give healthcare social media marketers reason for pause. The current privacy fisticuffs stretch back to 2014 when Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan developed a personality app that collected information from users and all of their friends. The resulting database of 50 million Facebook users was then shared through the U.S. – based Cambridge Analytica with political operatives, who used it to micro-target likely voters for their clients.

Users are furious. And Facebook’s value dropped more than $40 billion in a week and kicked off the most serious legal and policy debate about personal privacy ever.

The ensuing debate will hold relevance for medical and healthcare marketers large and small. Our advice is to get ahead of consumers and regulators by upping your web privacy game now.

HIPAA compliant Email Marketing

You can count on new regulations on data collection, user permissions and terms of use. Meanwhile, users will become hyperaware of privacy issues, and how companies are using their data. Being IPAA Compliant with digital marketing won’t save you, either. We’re approaching a new level of marketing transparency.

The party line on the goodness of advertising and marketing is that it makes our free media system possible, drives our economy, and it makes consumers aware of new products. Nowhere does it say that we can hunt them down by tracking them across the Internet and bagging them like a brace of pheasants.