What happens when, as an industry focused on security, we continue to use, engage and advertise on platforms that are clearly abusing our customers data?

One of the core principles of HONOR payment solutions is that we provide secure payment technology for our customers. As an industry we are and should be diligently focused on the security of our clients, partners and the applications they use.

The 2013 Target breach cost $18M in settlements with the states alone. That does not include individual cases for damage or reputational harm. In 2012 news began to break of a massive breach at Global Payments(NYSE: GPN) , affecting more than 40 million credit and debit cards costing $94M, according to Bank Info Security. This includes fines from Visa, Mastercard and American Express but does not include lost opportunity and reputational harm.

Good thing we have learned our lesson…right? Data breaches are a fact of everyday life and responsible companies need to take every measure possible to prevent them.

What happens when, as an industry focused on security, we continue to use, engage and advertise on platforms that are clearly abusing our customers data? Using a technology that continues the same conduct after it suffers a breach is sending a message, that their behavior is acceptable.

Facebook continues to make news with a series of breaches, security gaps and abuse of information followed by public apologies and more breaches. According to their Wikipedia page they have more than 2.2 billion monthly active users. Users that volunteer their most intimate data about themselves, their lives, their friends and their families do so with a limited expectation of privacy and an expectation of security of their data.

As a core principle of HONOR, we are foundationally driven about protecting our customers data. We believe that the responsible course of action is for companies with security built into their core values to stop supporting, enabling and using Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp given their behavior.

Large processors like Elavon, TSYS and FirstData would never continue using a payment application they knew was unsecure or knowingly put their customers at risk. We would argue, why would they then advertise on platforms that continue to mishandle and abuse customer data?

There is a fantastic book and podcast called Rework , their founders have done a deep dive on Facebook’s breach of trust.  They have created the Facebook Free badge and have made it public and free for all to use. We understand that this may not be the right course for every company. However for B2B focused companies in industries with a key dependency on security, the impact may be limited to their business but the action is important.