privacy issues

drag2share: How Location Data Is Being Collected, And Why It’s Transforming The Mobile Industry


With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. The possibilities for location-based services on mobile go beyond consumer-facing apps like FourSquare and Shopkick. It’s powering advertisements, and many other services — from weather to travel apps.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence on location-based data, we analyze the opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm.

We specifically examine how location-enabled mobile ads have generated excitement, look at how location-based feature have boosted engagement for apps, and demystify some of the underlying technologies and privacy issues.

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Take a look at this graphic:


A pure GPS approach and the “lat-long” tags it generates is considered the standard for location data. But there are at least four other methods, sometimes used in combination, for pinpointing location:

  • Cell tower data: When GPS signals can’t reach the device’s GPS chip, which often happens indoors, the device will often report its location by communicating with the cell tower it’s connected to and estimating its distance. It’s less accurate than pure GPS data.
  • Wi-Fi connection: It’s an accurate method but requires an active Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi locations are matched with GPS coordinates. It can pinpoint a user to a specific storefront, which is why many retailers are rolling out free public Wi-Fi to enable in-store mobile ads.
  • IP address: Location can be gauged by the IP address associated with the data connection. The accuracy of this approach varies between carriers, and is far less reliable than the above methods.
  • User-reported: When users sign up for emails or register for mobile apps and services, they often enter their addresses and zip codes. This data can be translated into GPS coordinates to build a geolocation profile of a single user or user base.
The ability to collect user location data and track it has raised some concerns over privacy. However, Android and iOS give users the ability to opt out of location tracking altogether via their settings.

drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)


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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 news No Comments

US Web Users Concerned About Privacy, but Hold Themselves Accountable – eMarketer


Worries about online shopping plague consumers

US internet users continue to show concern about privacy issues, and it’s unlikely those worries will dissipate any time soon. But a June 2013 survey of US smartphone users conducted by online privacy management services provider TRUSTe found that the vast majority of respondents—76%—believed they held the most responsibility for managing their own privacy protections. Only 6% lay that burden with wireless service providers, while 5% thought it was the job of device manufacturers and 4% believed it was the responsibility of the government.

Despite this finding, it would be shortsighted for marketers to abdicate efforts to assuage privacy concerns. An overstep by brands in the privacy arena can easily result in a loss of trust and reputation, such as when Samsung and Jay-Z partnered to produce a mobile app that was widely criticized for requiring users to share a significant amount of personal information.

Aside from general internet use, privacy concerns were highest when internet users were shopping online; 87% of respondents said they were concerned about their privacy at least some of the time when shopping on the web. That was followed by email use (86%), online banking (79%), social networking (76%) and mobile app use (60%).

Mobile app users are least guarded about sharing their gender information with a company—53% of respondents said they would acquiesce to such a request. Next in line was a! ge (44%), an email address (39%) and a full name (31%). There was a sharp dropoff in the willingness of consumers to provide an app with their birthdate. And nearly a quarter of respondents said they didn’t want to share any information at all.

When it comes to privacy issues, there’s a thin line between asking for just enough and far too much.

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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 news No Comments

White House taps former Twitter lawyer as first Chief Privacy Officer


White House taps former Twitter lawyer as first Chief Privacy Officer

Two months after appointing Todd Park as Chief Technology Officer, the White House has picked Nicole Wong for the newly created position of Chief Privacy Officer. Details about the job are still MIA, but she’ll likely be working closely with Park. One thing’s for sure, though: Wong brings some serious Silicon Valley cred to the table, having worked on product copyright and privacy issues at Google for eight years and, more recently, serving as Twitter’s legal director. If you recall, the EFF gave that social network high marks when it released its annual report last week — an auspicious sign if we’ve ever seen one.

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Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 news No Comments

Google Shut Down Reader Because It Was Scared of More Screw-Ups


Google Shut Down Reader Because It Was Scared of More Screw-UpsAccording to a report from AllThingsD, lack of customers wasn’t the only reason Google Reader will meet its untimely end on July 1st. It was also, for Google, a potential source of bungling that it wasn’t worth shoring up.

Google has run into so many privacy issues of late—Wi-Fi snooping chief among them, but there have been plenty of others—that every team within the company needs compliance staff looking after them. Since Reader didn’t even have a product manager at the time of its sentencing, it was unlikely that Google was going to staff up lawyers to keep its nose clean.

A few things become more clear. One, that Reader definitely wasn’t profitable. Two, that Google’s more willing than ever to axe projects that don’t help the bottom line. And three, that the company is currently in a position where it has access to so much of your information—and such limited means to control it it—that it’s worried it will do something untoward or illegal with it without even trying.

An explanation like that may be cold comfort for bereaved Google Reader fans, but it’s downright chilly for the rest of us. [AllThingsD]

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Monday, March 25th, 2013 news No Comments

A sure sign Facebook’s already in trouble – meteoric rise and meteoric fall coming

Facebook Suicide is on the rise (people leaving Facebook and not coming back)


According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.


Google Suggest — top searches starting with “how do i… “

Ecosystem of Apps for Facebook is already overtaken by iPad Apps as evidenced by search volume around the 3 terms.

NYTimes: chart of Facebook Privacy Options – too complex for most people to figure out and use appropriately.


Charlie O’Donnell: “By the time of this post is done, Diaspora, the web decentralization play from four NYU/Courant students in New York, will undoubtedly have $100,000 raised on Kickstarter.  Over and above that, it seems like they’re on a clear path towards a million dollars.  Think I’m poking the bear?  I’m dead serious.  You watch.  A week from now, they get to seven digits.  Why?  Because the ire over Facebook’s privacy issues, platform aggression, etc. is real.  If you’re concerned about Facebook, these guys are your heroes.”

AdAge Poll from May 19, 2010.

My Previous article:  Facebook is going down in unique users, visits, and time spent

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Monday, May 17th, 2010 digital 1 Comment

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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