Privacy Watchdog Urges FTC to Stop Google’s In-store Tracking

The Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy watchdog organization, has announced that it has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission which urges powerhouse technology company Google (Menlo Park, CA) to halt their consumer tracking of in-store purchases.

EPIC’s complaint asks the FTC to stop Google’s tracking of in-store purchases in order to properly determine whether Google adequately protects the privacy of consumers.

According to EPIC’s website, Google’s practice of collecting of billions of credit/debit card transactions also allow the company to link such personal information to the activities of users of their services. EPIC contends that while Google claims that it takes necessary precautions to protect online privacy of its users, they actively refuse to reveal details of the proprietary algorithm that “de-identifies” consumers while also simultaneously tracking their purchases.

In a 2015 Q3 earnings report, Google touted that the amount of users of their services (such as the Google search engine, Gmail email services, Google Maps navigation, etc.) totals 1 billion. The statistics relating strictly to Google searches total at 3.5 billion queries a day, and 1.2 trillion queries a year.

EPIC’s track record in filing successful complaints to the FTC that have resulted in some kind of action have been notable. The organization’s complaints have resulted in amendments to Facebook‘s privacy preferences, as well as in the launch of Google’s now-defunct social networking platform, Google Buzz.

You can read EPIC’s full FTC complaint by clicking here.

FTC Stops, Fines Manufacturer Spying on 11 Million TV Owners | RBDR

February 9, 2017. Today on RBDR:

1) The Federal Trade Commission reached settlement with U.S. TV manufacturer Vizio, fining it $2.2 million for its data collection from its 11 million TV owners and selling the data.

2) A Bain & Co. project discovers that advertising recall is less with digital media than with traditional media.

3) BlueVenn, an international technology company, reports that U.S. and UK marketers are most intent on developing internal data analysis skills (72%) in the next two years than their social media skills (65%).

RBDR is sponsored this week by Symmetric Sampling, a Division of Decision Analyst, which is providing sampling services to companies that place a very high value on representative samples, scientific sampling methods, and advanced fraud-detection systems.

Learn more by visiting their website.

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Data Not Created Equal between Ad Agencies, Brand Marketers | RBDR

January 4th, 2017. Today on RBDR:

1) A study points out a discrepancy between the types of data considered most important by advertising agencies versus brand marketers.

2) One of America’s six “A+” political polling organizations, California’s Field Poll, is closing down early in 2017.

3) The FTC reaches an agreement with Turn, Inc. to change the way it handles consumers’ personal information.

RBDR is sponsored this week by Toluna, a leading digital insights provider that provides a suite of Experience Measurement solutions. Toluna works with one of the largest US-based retail organizations to measure in-store customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy via a dedicated CEM reporting system. You can find a link to this case history by clicking here.

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2 court cases narrow TCPA violations. FTC cites WB for paying “influencers.” (RBDR 07.18.2016)

Today on RBDR:

1) A U.S. Supreme Court case and ruling in the U.S. Federal District Court in Western Pennsylvania are reshaping the definition of what is required for a TCPA violation.

2) The FTC puts Warner Bros. on the carpet for its social media influencer campaign that fails to clearly disclose that these influencers were compensated for their report.

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FTC cautions on use of Big Data. Apple acquires Emotient. (RBDR 01.11.2016)

Today on RBDR:

1) The MRA’s Howard Fienberg summarizes the FTC’s cautionary report on the use and misuse of Big Data (Find the links to this story here.)

2) Apple Computer acquired Emotient this past week, a self-described leader in emotion detection and sentiment analysis based on facial expressions. RBDR explores why.

RBDR is sponsored by Socratic Technologies, whose proprietary tools and methodologies tackle marketing complexities so that you can make more confident business decisions. Visit

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