What can developers learn from the Cambridge Analytica cluster?

It seems that every other week a story emerges alleging that someone, somewhere, misused or mishandled someone's data. And whether the real problem is a hacker, a rogue developer, or a sloppy business partner, the casualty is user trust, and the whole digital ecosystem suffers. We suffer. You suffer. Our industry suffers.

One path forward is for developers to keep their heads down and let the latest news-cycle play out - after all, it’s not about us.

Another is to acknowledge that we all take a hit when any one of us ends up in a bind - and to do something about it.

On behalf of our developer members, the Alliance has embarked on a multi-part project designed to help build trust and awareness of the role developers play in safeguarding consumer data. Along the way we will be pulling together stories and educational pieces to help people understand what data enables, how it solves intractable problems, where it comes from and where it goes. And we’ll present it in plain language, so a Congressman can use us as a resource to explain things to all the grandmothers out there (hi, grandma!).

We’ll also be collecting best practices from developers, and sharing that knowledge with anyone that wants to learn. We already have a survey in the field that seeks to inform the next phases of our research. We hope you’ll participate and share with us how you use data and the steps you take to respect privacy and empower users to influence what you do.

Because developers care about user trust, and understand that those that violate expectations hurt us all. Because developers want to continually improve their data stewardship: it’s just good business, and the right thing to do.

Our ask is that when we come calling for your help, that you share your best practices and the stories of all the amazing things the data you hold has enabled.

Until then, to developers everywhere, thanks for all you do to make life awesome!


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Bruce Gustafson
President & CEO