Most Consumers Reject In-Store Mobile Tracking — Or Do They?

privacy-600 The large majority of consumers have not had any experience with indoor location or indoor marketing on mobile devices. However there are already more than a dozen surveys asking how consumers feel about having their in-store movements tracked. Having read every single one of these surveys and conducted several myself I can tell you the following: consumers are concerned about location tracking. However if the reason behind tracking is legitimate (e.g., Waze, Uber) they're generally fine with it. More specifically, in a retail environment, most consumers are willing to share personal data ( [...]


Italian Privacy Police Give Google 18 Months To Make Changes

google-italy-800 European privacy regulators have been critical of Google's unified privacy policy since it was announced in early 2012. They have demanded various changes, including more disclosures to users, to bring the law in compliance with EU and individual country rules. Italy is the latest country to issue what amounts to an ultimatum to Google to change its privacy practices or face fines (up to $1 million euros) and unspecified "possible criminal proceedings," according to Reuters. There is a similar history in France, which ordered Google to change its privacy behavior in June 2013. Google mai [...]


Survey: 74% Of U.S. Adults Would Delete Themselves From Search Results If They Could

privacy-600 In the wake of the the Right to Be Forgotten controversy in Europe, Survey Monkey has conducted a survey of online adults (n=210) to explore U.S. attitudes toward search and online privacy. Eli Schwartz of Survey Monkey has written about parts of the survey on Search Engine Land: Right To Be Forgotten: Do Users Even Care? This article looks at some of the other findings in the survey. Question: What sort of precautions do you take to protect your privacy online? According to the data, consumers use a variety of strategies to protect their privacy: deleting web history, deleting [...]


Trust Vs. Bribes And The Consumer Privacy Paradox

personal-data-privacy-featured Survey after survey shows that consumers are wary of marketers and concerned about tracking and privacy. However, they also want more personalization, relevant ads and are happy to divulge personal information when they get something in return. Is this a contradiction, a paradox? It's really the difference between being confronted with the idea of "tracking" or targeting in the abstract vs. the often concrete rewards of those processes. A Forrester survey is the latest published piece of consumer research to capture and reflect this tension. Last year the firm surveyed more than 5,000 U [...]


WordPress.com To Start Serving Pages Over SSL As Anti-Surveillance Measure

reset-the-net-600 Automattic, the company that created and owns the WordPress publishing platform, is joining the battle against government surveillance. The company announced today that it'll begin serving pages on all of its WordPress.com subdomains only over SSL by the end of 2014. Paul Sieminski, Automattic's General Counsel, explained the move this way: In the face of intrusive surveillance, we believe that everyone in the tech community needs to stand up and do what they can, starting with their own sites and platforms. For us, that means working to secure the connection between users and our websi [...]


How Google’s New “End-To-End” Email Privacy Push Will Protect You — Even From Google

Gmail Privacy Google's out with two big privacy pushes when it comes to Gmail today, aimed at protecting your email from prying eyes. Wait, isn't Google one of the biggest prying eyes, reading emails for ad targeting and other purposes? Yes, but Google's new push will even protect you from Google itself. Below, an explainer about what's happening. I thought Google already encrypted email? Google provides what's called transit encryption, where the transmission of email is protected but the contents are not. Tell me more about this "transit encryption" stuff! Think of it like sending regular mail. Wi [...]


Did Privacy Search Engine DuckDuckGo Pay To Be Included Apple’s Safari? That’s Private!

ddg logo 600 Tiny search engine DuckDuckGo scored a huge victory yesterday when Apple announced DuckDuckGo would be an option included in future versions of its Safari web browser, as a privacy feature. But did DuckDuckGo pay to make that happen, as others like Google do? That's private, and DDG can't say. "The terms are confidential. Needless to say though DuckDuckGo is thrilled to be included in Safari," DuckDuckGo's CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg emailed, when we asked if there was any paid component to the arrangement, either a direct payment of some type or compensation in any way. Apple Ke [...]


Google To Start “Forgetting” As Removal Request Form Goes Live In Europe

google-europe-featured As explained last night by Danny Sullivan, the Right to Be Forgotten has gone into effect in Europe, and Google has put up its "please remove me" request form. Officially called a "search removal request" form, it asks petitioners to submit the links they want removed, explain why and verify their identities. Specifically, Google asks users to "explain how this URL in search results is irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate." This is essentially the same vague, verbatim language used by the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice in its earlier ruling establishing the [...]


Industry “Do Not Track” Efforts Bogged Down As Privacy Regulators Move In

privacy Citing a lack of coherent or uniform standards, Yahoo announced earlier this month that it was walking away from "Do Not Track" (DNT), at least for the time being. That action seemed to directly contradict earlier claims that industry mega-group Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) would unveil a DNT solution with industrywide support. The DAA still maintains that it's close to revealing a consensus proposal around DNT. However a new wrinkle has emerged. Smaller networks, data vendors and analytics providers are reportedly objecting that DNT wouldn't do much to big networks like Google or Fa [...]


10 People Who Want To Be Forgotten By Google, From An Attempted Murderer To A Cyberstalker

privacy-anonymous-hacker-600 Who wants things removed from Google under the newly declared "right to be forgotten" in the European Union? A convicted cyberstalker, an attempted murderer, a politician, a business with bad reviews and a pedophile are among those making such requests to Google. Yesterday, the BBC noted the first three of the cases listed below. Marketing Land has also learned of them directly from a source, along with seven other requests that Google has received. The Politician Who Behaved Badly A former politician seeks to have links removed about his behavior while in office -- presumably unfla [...]


Yahoo Ditches “Do Not Track”: Lack Of Standards Said Too Confusing

yahoo-purple-y-logo Yahoo announced Wednesday that it will no longer adhere to Do Not Track browser signals, further compromising the effectiveness of the user privacy setting in the online ecosystem. "As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo. As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry." The change is framed as a move towa [...]


Google Says It Will No Longer Scan & Collect Data From Student Gmail Accounts For Ad Purposes

Google legal Google announced today it has ceased scanning student Gmail accounts, and can no longer collect or use student data from its Apps for Education services for advertising purposes. The decision by Google comes after a recent lawsuit against the company, claiming Google's practice of scanning student Gmail accounts violated privacy laws. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google admitted during court proceedings that it had scanned emails belonging to students who attended schools using Google's Apps for Education. The report claimed Google said it never used the information [...]


After Bitter Fight, Industry To Embrace “Browser Choice” (AKA Do Not Track)

personal-data-privacy-featured The online advertising industry has apparently done an about-face on "Do Not Track" (DNT). According to AdWeek the Digital Advertising Alliance will soon unveil a DNT solution that will euphemistically be called "browser choice." The article says, "The final product will include some of the same hallmarks of the DAA's ad choices self-regulatory program, which allows consumers to opt-out of online behaviorally-targeted advertising by clicking on a little blue icon that appears on ads." Specifics of how "browser choice" will work have yet to be revealed. However it won't affect first-party [...]


Could “Liking” A Brand On Facebook Waive Your Legal Rights?

social-media-dislike-thumb-down-featured There is a very disturbing trend in the world of corporate terms and conditions. Consumers (and small merchants) are increasingly being forced by fine-print clauses into binding arbitration to resolve disputes with companies. The very pro-business US Supreme Court not long ago ruled this was entirely legal. What it means as a practical matter is that individuals give up their right to sue in court as well as the right to join together in class action litigation against corporations. The problem is that consumers, even if they're permitted to sue individually, won't because they don't h [...]


Google Tells Users It Scans Their Email As Microsoft Puts “Scroogled” To Bed

gmail inbox tabs Google updated its terms of service (TOS) yesterday to make more explicit the fact that it scans Gmail for the purpose of matching email content with ads. The relevant part of the updated TOS reads: Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored. Google has been sued for the practice as an alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. The case survived Google' [...]


Hacking, E-Theft Grow As 18 Percent Report Data Stolen

privacy-security-featured Major internet sites now seem to suffer routine data breaches. Over the past several months, we've learned that multiple major retailers had credit card numbers (by the millions) stolen as their databases were hacked from Eastern Europe. Last week, “Heartbleed” was discovered, prompting the recommendation to change all your passwords online. Welcome to the new normal -- or so it would seem. The Pew Research Center released January 2014 survey data this morning that found 18 percent of adults online have had personal information stolen ("Social Security Number, credit card, or ban [...]


Will “Mass Surveillance” Report Hasten The Cookiepocalypse?

Cookies The prevalence of cookie-free mobile devices and growing hostility to third-party cookies has marked the cookie for almost certain death. A new report will add to the chorus calling for the end of third-party cookies as an online tracking tool. The report (cited by TheVerge) from Princeton researchers details how relatively simple it is to connect browsing behavior across the internet and to real identity. The report (embedded below) is called "Cookies that give you away: Evaluating the surveillance implications of web tracking." The researchers undertook the study following, and in part [...]


Google Takes “SpyView” Wiretapping Appeal To SCOTUS

Google Street View car Google seeks US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) review of a US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which affirmed a lower court denial of Google's motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit brought after the 2010 Street View private "payload data" capture revelations. Plaintiffs argue that Google violated the federal "Wiretap Act" when it intercepted their private email and other communications during Street View data collection. The Wiretap Act makes it illegal to “intentionally intercept . . . any wire, oral, or electronic communication" and to "use or disclose information that is obtained [...]


UK Watchdog Clears Microsoft’s Scroogled-Style Radio Ad Against False Advertising Claims

msft-outlook-privacy The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared a radio ad attacking Google's privacy practices against complaints that it amounted to false advertising. In the decision announced yesterday, the ASA rejected two complaints about an ad promoting Microsoft's Outlook email that said it -- unlike Google's Gmail service -- doesn't scan the contents of emails to sell ads. The radio ad begins with a voice speaking in Pig-latin, followed by a narrator who says "Pig Latin may be hard to understand, but you probably need it if you use Gmail, because Gmail scans every word of your e-mail [...]


How Microsoft Scroogled Itself As The Defender Of Email Privacy Over Google

scroogled-store-mug-featured For just over a year, Microsoft has been attacking Google over email privacy. Consumers are getting "Scroogled" by a Google that doesn't respect privacy, it has said. Microsoft can now retire that Scroogled campaign. After violating the privacy of a third-party's email account, Microsoft's not in a position to be taking the high-road, any longer. The Privacy Invasion This week, a case against a former Microsoft employee made the news. The employee is accused of passing trade secrets -- software code and other information about Windows -- to an unidentified blogger. Some argue he (we do know [...]


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