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privacy alert

What Price Privacy? A Penny for Your Thoughts and a Cookie for Your Data?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 3, 2014 03:44 PM

In the height of irony, cookies, the real kind, not the ones on the Internet that track consumer’s behavior, were the centerpiece of a recent experiment in New York where 380 people divulged sensitive, personal information in return for a tasty treat.

Chocolate Chili Fleur de Sel or Pink Pistachio Peppercorn cookies were the carrot and the reward in artist Risa Puno’s art event, "Please Enable Cookies," held at the recent Barter Town event at the Dumbo Arts Festival Brooklyn (next stop: the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 25).

Each "purchase" is based on sliding scale of how much hackerlicious data each customer shares, filling out a checklist including home address, driver's license number, phone number and mother's maiden name. The more you share, the more homebaked cookies you earn.

The use of cookies was no accident. As Puno describes it, "Digitally, cookies are what websites use to get information about users. My installation, Please Enable Cookies, is intended to highlight the way we use information as currency (whether we know it or not) to acquire things that are simply for entertainment or amusement."Continue reading...

Google Follows Mobile Users to the Store, Alarms Privacy Watchdogs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 08:12 PM

Google reportedly makes around $100 million daily by selling Google Ads to online businesses. Now the site is reportedly beta-testing a program that could deliver the Holy Grail of mobile connectivity. Using location data to track when consumers visit stores, Google will connect those visits to searches on Google via smartphones and deliver analytic proof that its mobile ads do work.

According to Digiday, “If someone conducts a Google mobile search for 'screwdrivers,' for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person’s location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store.”Continue reading...

follow the money

FICO on Location-Based Marketing: GPS Data Supports Omnichannel Analysis

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2013 03:15 PM

As retailers increasingly leverage location-based marketing to predict customer behavior and influence purchasing decisions, the result is more sophisticated data about who and when to target — and what offers to make.  

“Collecting GPS data is becoming quite pervasive. Using the knowledge of where a customer goes, which path she travels and how much time she spends at various locations can improve the quality of customer interactions and types of marketing offers and increase the likelihood that she’ll redeem an offer,” writes FICO’s Shafi Rahman and Amit Sowani.

FICO, founded in 1956, introduced analytic solutions including credit scoring, predictive analytics and business rules management and optimization, now used by most of the world's top banks, leading insurers, retailers, pharmaceutical businesses and government agencies, as well as managing the personal credit health of millions of individuals. 

The organization identified some key steps in location-based data collection:Continue reading...

FTC and Facebook in Spotlight as Privacy Issues Escalate

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 26, 2012 03:03 PM

The Federal Trade Commission today released its framework (and the cautionary video above) for protecting consumers’ privacy online. Building on its draft privacy proposal from last year which outlined guidelines for companies to handle personal data and recommended the “Do Not Track” button option, the FTC has legal authority to sue companies that violate privacy policies.

Under FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, the agency last year brought charges against both Google and Facebook for alleged violations. At issue, in addition to personal privacy, the tougher the regulations the bigger the incursion on profits reaped by web giants who use the data from targeted advertising to offer their services for free.Continue reading...

GM's OnStar Reverses Plan to Track Former Customers

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 27, 2011 03:59 PM

Following a complaint from U.S. senators, General Motors' OnStar telematics division announced today that it's reversing the proposed Terms and Conditions policy changes it announced last week would take effect on December 1st.

Following customer feedback (read: public outcry), OnStar president Linda Marshall announced that the company will not keep a data connection to customers' vehicles (and collect that data) after their OnStar service is canceled, as had been intended. OnStar bills itself as "the world's most comprehensive in-vehicle safety, security and communication service."

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