Updated January 2022

It’s hard to believe it’s been over four years since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked marketers and sparked a massive change in how companies can use customer data.

The scandal prompted Facebook to overhaul its data use policy and launched the first of many changes Facebook has made to make the platform feel more secure. Instagram’s privacy policy was also updated.

At the time of this scandal, we rolled out changes to our Social Login for Instagram and Facebook.

What Your Business Needs to Know About Customer Privacy Online

Businesses now need a Privacy Policy on their websites and messaging to ensure users understand and consent to how their information will be used.

Get our guide to creating your own privacy policy here.

Get our guide to GDPR compliance. European privacy legislation that affects businesses worldwide.


Our commitment to privacy

Here at AE, we do social login and customer insights with a strong eye towards respecting customer privacy.

We believe using customer data should be a transparent process. Customers need an easy way to allow companies to use their data — or to stop unwanted use. Our platform allows for a two-way “digital handshake” between companies and their customers. We believe that in the end, our best customers are our happiest customers.

For the record, here’s our blog post from April 2018, following the initial changes to data use policies at Facebook. It’s amazing to see how much has changed since that time. Enjoy!

Yesterday Facebook announced some big changes and new data policies. Following on from the Cambridge Analytica boondoggle, Facebook is rapidly shoring up all the ways Facebook and Instagram user data can be accessed. Some of these changes will affect your AE account.

It wasn’t really a surprise that these changes came out; however, it did surprise me that it was done without warning, literally overnight. These are massive changes with cascading effects. I think in the long run, these changes are positive. Privacy and data violations are serious concerns. However, at the moment, some very successful businesses rely solely on Facebook and Instagram’s API and now they are in a huge bind. You only need to look at the developer forums and marketing groups online to see how radically this announcement is impacting big and small businesses.

Here’s a look at what changes to expect in your AE account, how these changes will be communicated, and what you can do to prepare your business for privacy changes in the future.

What Does Facebook’s Data Policy Update Mean For Your AE Account

What does Facebook's data policy update mean for your AE account?

Facebook and Instagram Customer Registration

Right now, if you are offering AE Connect’s Facebook or Instagram option for customer registration on your website, they still work. Great news!

Example of a social login with options to sign in through Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook and Instagram New App Registration

If you’ve recently signed up for AE and are creating your Facebook and Instagram apps, there may be a delay. Right now all app approval is on hold for at least two weeks. Facebook hasn’t actually told us when app review will be available again. So, unfortunately, if you’ve started going through that process and you want extended permissions, your app will be on hold. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.


Music Shares on Facebook

If you were able to see the music your Facebook customers were sharing, you won’t as of April 4th, 2018. Facebook will no longer allow any business to access music listens across the service.

Example of a song being shared as a listen on Facebook.

If understanding music preferences and tastes is a key part of your business, offer Spotify or Deezer as a login. Both these services offer even richer music information you can use.

Instagram Follows and Likes

Much like music shares, if you were able to see the accounts your Instagram users followed and the posts they liked, this is gone as well. AE can still pick up hashtags and mentions, so you are still able to understand when an Instagram user interacts with an Instagram account. There are a huge number of changes to the Instagram API but these are the two that affect your AE account.

Instagram activity showing recent likes and follows.
Instagram activity of your customers/fans as it appears on your AE dashboard.

Instagram’s API and data feed will be accessed solely through Facebook APIs. We’re not sure what sort of data access will be available or what approval process will take place, but we’ll let you know as it’s revealed.

Deeper Developer Information

If you want to totally nerd out on the API changes, we have a developer post over here.


Changes You’ll See

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be reflecting these changes in our dashboard and updating our developer API documentation. We’ll communicate these changes as they roll out, over email and through messages in the AE dashboard. We don’t expect them to have a big impact on the work you do right now.


What’s Coming Next

I wish I could look into my crystal ball and see what else is coming down the data security pipeline. However, I’ve been doing a lot of talking, listening and reading about data privacy and where customer data is heading.

At AE we’ve always taken data privacy very seriously. That’s why every single piece of customer data you access through AE is authorized by your end-customer. We’ve never scraped data and our values reflect that.

I do believe that these changes are good! They offer a chance for brands and businesses who respect data privacy to develop better relationships with their audiences. Over the next couple of months we’ll be talking A LOT about data privacy, the upcoming GDPR changes and how you can prepare your business and your customers for the future.

Capture Customer Data AND Be Privacy Compliant

Appreciation Engine is online software that helps you capture your users through social login, delivers you user insights you can take action on and deliver a better return on all your marketing and UA activities.