Commentary: Protecting U.S. Consumer Privacy / RBDR

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February 5, 2019.

Today on RBDR: Bob Lederer’s commentary asks who is overseeing businesses’ behavior with respect to consumer privacy. The American government is essentially standing on the sidelines and allowing Apple, Facebook, Google and the like to control and sanction the behavior of companies in the space as they collect personal data.

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Update on Cambridge Analytica’s Data Theft | RBDR

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March 22, 2018. Today on RBDR:

News emerging out of the Cambridge Analytica story shows the extent to which Facebook’s data was compromised and what it might end up costing the social media company.

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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%).

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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.

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