The latest on this ongoing story of lawmaker’s investigation of data brokers. The blurb below names some brokers and products they offer.
Data Brokers Come Under Greater Scrutiny – WSJ.com.
Epsilon Data Management, Experian and LexisNexis said they would continue to cooperate with the Senate committee. Acxiom declined to comment. Medbase200 didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Ethnic Technologies LLC provides lists with ethnic and religious groupings, including Americans broken out by race who don’t use mainstream financial services, according to its website. The site said its customers include banks, home-mortgage lenders and credit-card companies. The company didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Exact Data ConsumerBase LLC, a provider of direct-marketing services, on its website has consumer lists such as “Americans with Student Loan Debt” and “Bankrupt Consumers in Dallas.” The company didn’t return a call seeking comment.
My pragmatic POV on this: your data is not worth that much.
A startup called Datacoup is far from the only tech company hoping to get rich by selling insights mined from your personal data. But it may be the only one offering to give you money for that information.
via Startup Datacoup Will Pay You $8 a Month If Your Feed It Data from Facebook, Twitter, and Your Credit Card | MIT Technology Review.
Collection of data while apps aren’t active is going to be one of the big things in 2014. This includes Foursquare location tracking (story below), Shazam listening, Runkeeper with fitbit-like tracking functionality.
Another related story will be the use of mobile data to solve the cold start problem with apps. Before, when you install an app that is dependent on location history, you’d have to wait until it collects data before you could do anything useful with it. Now, on iOS, the app has access to historical data so you’ll see benefits immediately post-installation.
Foursquare briefed ad executives recently on a new initiative to track the location of users’ phones, without requiring them to check in, according to Digiday. The app is able to do this by taking advantage of the “Background App Refresh” feature on iOS7 devices. On Android devices, Foursquare is pinging smartphones “every few minutes” to determine a user’s location. So, Foursquare no longer needs users to publicly check in to know where they are.
via Foursquare Surpasses 45 Million Registered Users, And Begins Collecting Data In New Ways 2 – Business Insider.
Twitter is charging into something Facebook has been tiptoeing around. Twitter’s bringing retargeting to mobile.
via Twitter Is About To Officially Launch Retargeted Ads | TechCrunch.
Doubling down on user data:
The social network may start collecting data on minute user interactions with its content, such as how long a user’s cursor hovers over a certain part of its website, or whether a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given moment on the screen of his or her mobile phone, Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin said Tuesday during an interview.
via Facebook Considers Vast Increase in Data Collection – The CIO Report – WSJ.
Microsoft’s cookie replacement would essentially be a device identifier, meaning consumers could give permission for its advertising use when opting in to a device’s regular user agreement or terms of service. Microsoft would then become directly responsible for users’ data and — assuming it doesn’t share it with third parties — confine privacy concerns to the Redmond, Wash.-based company rather than countless companies that currently collect data on people’s browsing behaviors.
via Microsoft Cookie Replacement to Span Desktop, Mobile, Xbox | Digital – Advertising Age.
He is not worried that the general public will see the service as spying on consumers. English explained, “Consumers opt in when they download the Swirl app or the store’s mobile app. And their phone is reacting to a beacon in the store rather than being tracked. They are happy to opt in because it gives them an opportunity to get discounts.”
via Swirl Spikes Retail Sales With Mobile Discounts, Gets $8 Million From Hearst – Forbes.
The technology Microsoft is developing would track users on computers, tablets, and smartphones that run Windows operating systems, as well as on the Xbox video game consoles and online services like Internet Explorer and Bing.
via Microsoft Plans Tracking Alternative To Cookies – Business Insider.
Drawbridge, founded by a former Google data scientist, says it has matched 1.5 billion devices this way, allowing it to deliver mobile ads based on Web sites the person has visited on a computer. If you research a Hawaiian vacation on your work desktop, you could see a Hawaii ad that night on your personal cellphone.
And a bit about how it works:
Drawbridge, which was founded by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, formerly at AdMob, the Google mobile ad network, has partnerships with various online publishers and ad exchanges. These send partners a notification every time a user visits a Web site or mobile app, which is considered an opportunity to show an ad. Drawbridge watches the notifications for behavioral patterns and uses statistical modeling to determine the probability that several devices have the same owner and to assign that person an anonymous identifier.
So if someone regularly checks a news app on a phone in bed each morning, browses the same news site from a laptop in the kitchen, visits from that laptop at an office an hour later and returns that night on a tablet in the same home, Drawbridge concludes that those devices belong to the same person. And if that person shopped for airplane tickets at work, Drawbridge could show that person an airline ad on the tablet that evening.
via Selling Secrets of Phone Users to Advertisers – NYTimes.com.