Three data related articles that I missed over the last few weeks:
1. via Congress Opens Inquiry Into Data Brokers – NYTimes.com.
In a move that could lay bare the inner workings of the consumer data industry, eight members of Congress have opened a sweeping investigation into data brokers — companies that collect, collate, analyze and sell billions of details annually about consumers’ offline, online and mobile activities for marketing and other purposes.
2. via Acxiom Consumer Data, Often Unavailable to Consumers – NYTimes.com.
In investor presentations and interviews, Acxiom executives have said that the company — the subject of a Sunday Business article last month — has information on about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. Acxiom also promotes a program for consumers who wish to see the information the company has on them.
3. via Before Apps Become Adware: Lookout Releases Mobile App Privacy Guidelines – MarketingVOX.
Lookout will label those companies as adware due to their “reckless mobile ad practices.” Lookout Chief Technology Officer Kevin Mahaffey told CNet “I think there are a lot of unknowns about what is acceptable behavior…. We want to fix this problem before it gets so big that it needs regulation.”
4. via Advertising on mobile phones: Attack of the covert commercials | The Economist. (related to above Lookout analysis)
Lookout, a mobile-security company, has analysed Google’s Android ecosystem and spotlighted ten ad providers, including Moolah Media (which did not respond to requests for comment) and LeadBolt, that use one or more monetisation strategies it considers “aggressive”. These include making ads appear outside apps (for instance, in the notification bar usually reserved for a person’s text messages); altering mobile desktops and browsers so that, among other things, new icons appear that display ads when they are clicked on; and gaining access to personal information without giving a clear warning.