The chair of the DMA’s Business to Business Council Richard Robinson, who is commercial vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, has stepped down from his role as the fall out from the Facebook “data slurping” scandal continues.
Robinson first joined what was then the IDM B2B Marketing Council in 2010 and was appointed chair in 2013 with a brief to promote best practice and boost the reputation of the sector. The IDM Council was later merged with the DMA Council.
At the time Robinson said: “I look forward to building upon the great initiatives that have already been achieved and to continuing to work with such a passionate group of fellow council members. It’s a privilege to advise and assist the IDM on its dual missions to continually improve marketing performance and attract the best talent to our profession.”
He joined Cambridge Analytica last year from insights specialist Turn (now Amobee) and has over 20 years’ industry experience, including holding senior roles at Google, the International Data Group and IDC.
It is understood Robinson has agreed to step down until the Information Commissioner’s Office investigation is completed following an approach from DMA chiefs.
Meanwhile the issue is now the subject of a Federal investigation in the US, while the European Commission has also said it will probe the scandal. In addition, the boss of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, has been suspended, while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been called on by a Commons parliamentary committee to give evidence.
Both parties deny any wrongdoing.
Speaking in response to the continuing media coverage of the row, DMA Group chief executive Chris Combemale said: “Data is at the heart of modern society, allowing both people and businesses to benefit from the insight it brings. However, alongside this increased importance is a need for all organisations to act responsibly and be accountable for how they collect, store and use data. This accountability sits at the core of the DMA Code to which all our members must adhere.
“When companies are dealing with personal information it is essential that the public are fully aware and in control of how their information is being used and shared for political or commercial purposes. We have always believed in putting the customer first which can only be done when there is trust and transparency around how personal data is being used.”
However, Eve Maler, ForgeRock VP of Innovation & Emerging Technology, claims the revelations are likely to have a profound and lasting effect on the digital economy.
She said: “For many casual users of social media, a lightbulb has gone off; not just that they don’t really have control over their personal data online, but that it’s actually getting used in ways that they wouldn’t consent to if they had a say.
“I think we’re going to see more and more individuals choosing not to interact with organisations that are perceived to be untrustworthy. More to the point, when GDPR comes into effect later this spring, certain practices and business models that came into being with the rise of social media will no longer be tenable. And the spectre of more stringent privacy regulations coming into focus in the US is now a very real possibility.”
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