- Never share your first or last name, telephone number, address, place of work, or any other personally identifiable information.
- Share information about yourself without providing specifics that could allow somebody to identify you.
- Ensure that any digital photos that you post do not have metadata in them.
- Always pick a different username between different dating sites and never reuse a username between personal/business sites and a dating site.
- Always review and change the default settings and filters on the dating site and set up the controls that meet your needs. Assume the default settings are never they way you want them to be.
- Never ever send money.
- Fabricated information on a resume is an unfortunate fact and the same happens on a dating site. Do whatever you can to validate or background check before you meet someone.
- Always use Dodonames. Never use your regular email address.
Archive for Privacy
If you are concerned about identify theft and other privacy/security concerns there is a simple email precaution you can take to protect yourself. How about – never give out your personal or business email to someone or business you don’t know?
Sounds like common sense, does it not – yet, we do it all the time! Every day we sign up for newsletters; give our email to a point of sale clerk; register for online dating; use it to get WiFi at the coffee shop or airport; register for coupons, daily deal sites and freely hand out our email address in many other situations where we don’t know the people or business. Don’t do it! Protect your privacy and stop identity theft.
Never give your personal or business email address to people or businesses you don’t know. Privacy invasions and identity theft, in most cases, start with an email address. Your personal or business email address is the key to the front door of your digital house. Why would you ever share that key with every supplier you can think of and risk identity theft?
Little Known Fact About the Selling of Email Addresses.
Many companies have no problem selling email addresses while at the same time agreeing not to spam you. You unsubscribe from their mailing list but not from their selling list! Conclusion: Protect your privacy, don’t let your personal email get on their list in the first place
However easy it is to say, ‘never share your email with people and businesses you don’t know’, in reality we actually need to maintain a digital communications with many of these folks. Many of us simply create another email address, ‘our spam address’, in gmail, yahoo or hotmail. We end up with another inbox that is full of spam and also contains lots of legitimate communication.
Dodoname – Privacy by Design.
Enter Dodoname, which was designed specifically for when you don’t want to use your regular email address and also want a way to start, manage and stop all these ‘other emails’.
Remember, stop identity theft, never give out your regular email address again to someone to don’t know – use a Dodoname.
Our online privacy is continuously compromised with the scanning, skimming and scraping of our emails and our browsing behavior.
A recent study concluded that 92% of the population believes “that collecting the content of emails is unacceptable”. How many consumers understand that virtually every email is scanned, skimmed and scraped for information and their privacy is breached every day? A recent article in The Economist describes how people do not protect their right to privacy and anonymity.
Google scans the content of all emails on its servers as well as all emails sent or received by a gmail account. Google considers that users have no ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy. This stance flies in the face of the predominant and consistent research about consumers’ ‘privacy expectations’.
Rami Essaid recently wrote in TechCrunch that, “The truth is, people will never achieve true privacy and anonymity online.” He concludes that tracking is here to stay and that it is getting more pervasive and sophisticated. His main thesis is that our discussion should not be about absolute the right to privacy or anonymity but about transparency.
If Essaid is correct, the horse has left the barn in terms of protecting our privacy and anonymity. Instead, he proposes focusing on making it visible and transparent about how our online privacy will be accessed or ripped off. It is OK to to invade our privacy as long as it is transparent! Should consumers simply give up that they have any expectation for online privacy? This is almost Orwellian in concept – a dark road that we must not travel as this means that others have the right to observe us without our consent!
The Right to Privacy
In 1890, Warren and Brandeis wrote The Right to Privacy and their key argument was the “right to be let alone”. Here we are 100 years later. Do we really want to change the right to be left alone to the “the right to know when I am not left alone?” Transparency is an important need but we must not give up the fight for the right to privacy.
The week in review: Dodoname goes mobile, U.S. president proposes privacy protection, plus data breach updates
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. This week, Dodoname went mobile, Obama’s privacy proposition draws cheers and jeers, and data breaches and settlements for same continued to make news. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
Protecting your online privacy: there’s an app for that
‘Round Dodoname HQ, this was a big week. After months of slaving over a hot app store, this week the free Dodoname iOS app was made available on the Apple App Store. Got an iPhone? Like privacy? Then head over to the App Store and download the on-the-go version of our platform.
From the news release:
Whether you’re shopping online, visiting a retailer’s physical store, working or browsing, the situation often arises where you are asked to provide an email address. Perhaps it’s to receive an electronic receipt, take advantage of a special promotion, or sign up for a newsletter.
But providing that email address can easily lead to a flood of annoying and unwanted email solicitations. In some instances, giving out your email address can lead to malicious spam and phishing attacks.
Dodoname puts an end to this privacy abuse.
Imagine going shopping with all your coupons and offers in one convenient app. Use Dodonames to register with your favorite stores or online merchants. The next time you go shopping the old-fashioned way, all your coupons are right there on your mobile device for merchants to scan at checkout. It’s the single best way to interact with any merchant or vendor to get the stuff you want – and only the stuff you want – without giving up your privacy and anonymity.
President proposes privacy protection
Last year was a record year for data breaches globally; the U.S. government is not taking this fact lightly. This week, President Obama proposed legislation that would protect consumer privacy and demand disclosure from companies who fail to protect consumer data.
The proposed legislation has been subject to virtual reams of coverage, naturally, and there are proponents and detractors.
The pro side says:
Now, the government may step in, at least to ensure consumers are protected. President Obama on Monday proposed a new law called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would create a basic set of rules for how companies handle their customer information. It also would criminalize international trade in stolen personal identity information.
Aside from one specific rule that would require companies to notify customers within 30 days of the discovery of a data breach, there aren’t many other details available yet about Obama’s proposal. The president is expected to outline more specifics in his State of the Union speech next week.
In the mean time, tech industry executives and privacy advocates are excited at the prospect of a renewed effort to create a national standard. They say the bills that succeed are typically aimed at the government and how it handles information, rather than corporations.
Now that could change.
“This is a huge shot in the arm to a much-needed advancement for our legislative protections,” said Scott Talbott, who heads up government relations for the trade group Electronic Transactions Association. – From Cnet’s article, “Obama’s data-breach initiative has privacy advocates optimistic, cautious”
The con side says:
But the reality is that even if implemented, the proposed legislation and other actions would likely do little to make American companies or individuals safer. The only real benefit is likely to be raising the overall awareness of online vulnerabilities, just as the TSA’s airport security rigmarole may not actually catch weapons or terrorists, but still makes it abundantly clear that aviation is a risky business that needs to be approached with appropriate caution. – From Network World’s article, “Unfortunately, Obama’s new cybersecurity measures won’t help much”
Only time will tell whether this gets passed into law and what impact it will have. In the meantime, savvy consumers can use tools like Dodoname to protect their privacy when interacting with merchants.
Zappos settles for data breach; AMResorts customers report unusual credit card activity
Another week, another slew of data breach news. After suffering a 2012 data breach, Zappos this week settled lawsuits about same, resulting in a modest payout and a commitment to do better in the future. Perhaps a future vision of what AMResorts may need to prepare for given news that consumers who used credit cards on that site reported unusual activity on their cards afterwards.
The week in review: the FTC on IoT at CES, ringing in a new year of data breaches and phishing scams
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. This week, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlighted the growing interest in privacy as well as the privacy impacts of the Internet of Things, ringing in the new year of data breaches, and new phishing schemes for a new year. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
The FTC on IoT + CES = big privacy news
This week, technology companies big and small gathered in Las Vegas to tout their wares and reveal to consumers worldwide the next wave of consumer electronics. At the Consumer Electronics Show 2015, privacy was big news, both on the show floor and on the main stage.
The Internet of Things is a hot topic these days: from connected smoke alarms to intelligent refrigerators, futurists – and technology companies – are betting on the fact that soon most of our world will be connected to the Internet. This brave new world, however, has serious implications for consumer privacy.
The chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission gave a keynote address at CES this week highlighting the privacy and security implications of IoT, and her speech got a lot of coverage in both tech and mainstream media.
“Connected devices that provide increased convenience and improve health services are also collecting, transmitting, storing, and often sharing vast amounts of consumer data, some of it highly personal, thereby creating a number of privacy risks,” she said.
This creates an opportunity, of course, for technology companies to help solve those challenges, as evidenced by the small but mighty group of privacy-focused technology providers exhibiting on the CES show floor.
Brace for a busy year of data breaches
2014 was a remarkable year for data breaches, with seemingly no corner of the retail and consumer worlds untouched by the hand of hackers and poor security systems and policies. Well, I’ve got some bad news for you: experts are predicting that 2015 could be even worse. From the Sony hack that arguably touched off international cyberwar at a magnitude never before seen to financial institutions and retail giants suffering legal action and penalties as an unprecedented rate, these are just the tip of the iceberg for what could be about to unfold in 2015.
As Forbes reported in its harbinger of the data breach potential for 2015: “…a recent study found that more than 40% of companies experienced a data breach of some sort in the past year – four out of ten companies that maintain your credit card numbers, social security numbers, health information, and other personal information. That number is staggering, and shows no signs of retreat.”
Fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A (which has had troubles of a different sort in recent years based on its political and religious affiliations) has the dubious distinction of being the first reported data breach of 2015. Congratulations?
What’s good on Netflix? Not the phish. Try Friends instead.
Online streaming service Netflix has fallen victim to one of the first reported phishing scams of 2015. Netflix subscribers are being targeted with the old account verification phishing scheme. Some subscribers are reporting receiving notification that their payment has failed and that they need to log in to provide updated payment details. Let’s resolve to try and not fall victim to these sorts of tactics in 2015, shall we?
By Michael Gaffney
Privacy research firm, Pew Research, in the “The Future of Privacy” reported that ‘Internet privacy is a fantasy’ and that 55 percent of the population don’t believe that a ‘privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for business innovation and monetization while also offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats’ is achievable. We all need to remember that the remaining 45 percent is still a very large number.
Most disruptive events, political, social or technological, come from a tiny percentage of the population evoking a cause or an entrepreneur creating something new and needed. Dr. Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs were but two people in that 45 percent determined to make a change and they were quite disruptive to say the least. The doom and gloom naysayers who write provocative headlines like ‘privacy is a fantasy’ should provide motivation for the 45 percent who are concerned about privacy.
Relationship marketing is a relatively new phenomenon. It evolved out of the 1960’s when consumers began to have more competitive product alternatives to choose from and where there was sustained demand for those products. Merchants had to change from being focusing on the economics of supply to focus on demand. The foundations of what came to be known as relationship marketing – customer recruitment, retention and satisfaction – became the dominant focus of marketers for the past 50 years.
However, relationship marketing has seriously diminished privacy of the consumer. Why? Because by definition a ‘relationship’ typically means some form of intimate knowledge of the other party – in this case the consumer. In marketing terms, it means that the merchant, to effectively market to a consumer, needs lots of information about that consumer. Consumer data is captured, typically without prior knowledge or consent, in a number of ways by merchants. Facebook, Google and other social media sites have only accelerated the loss of privacy. Moreover, corporate customer relationship management (CRM) systems appear to be failing regularly in terms of data breaches and CRM’s are the key repositories of customer information.
So, what are consumers to do given all the scraping of our private information and the data breaches from CRM’s? Privacy and security have been foundations of society as long as we humans have been on the planet. Privacy is complex. We want privacy from our governments; privacy from the prying eyes of the public – especially if you are famous; privacy and protection from the bad guys; and privacy and protection from the merchants that hound us. Dodoname was created to address privacy from merchants and other consumer to business transactions and help address the risk of your data being stolen in a data breach.
How does Dodoname resolve relationship marketing and the loss of privacy? First of all, we designed a system that starts with the consumer in control of their personal and private information. Second, we designed a system that does not even capture your private information – only personal information. What is the difference between private and personal information? Private information is your actual name, street address, telephone number, credit card and banking information. Personal information is your sex, age (not birth date), postal code, married/single, likes, hobbies, etc. At Dodoname, we call the collection of your personal information your Persona. Remember, your Persona never includes your private information. Marketers don’t really need your private information if they have your Persona information. Hackers can hack us all they want but they can’t get what we don’t have. Relationship marketing and its problems with privacy breaches is solved when Consumers use Dodonames and Merchants market to Dodonames.
(Image: Flickr, Bernard Goldbach, link)
By Don Dobson
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. The Sony hack was catching everyone’s attention this week, banks and retailers are arguing about footing the data breach bill and there is some new thought provoking research on our digital lives and where we are going with privacy. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
Truth is stranger than fiction
While “The Interview” is a screwball comedy based on a highly improbable scenario, even Hollywood could not have written the script we see playing out with the Sony hack. Reports indicate that the data breach of terabytes of all manner of data (including employee personal data) at Sony was, in fact, carried out by North Korea. While state-on-state cyberwar is certainly not the personal privacy milieu of Dodoname, there are some sobering implications of the Sony hack which are likely to reverberate across business, in what may come to be seen as a real turning point for how we look at cybersecurity.
North Korea’s Bureau 121 is certainly not the only hacker group out there. In previous weeks we shared posts about how criminal hacking was a major industry in some places. A Monday post by Robert Beckhusen and Matthew Gault suggested that it wasn’t cyberwar that we need to be worried about but cybercrime, since the U.S. — and the rest of the world, for that matter — aren’t ready to deal with cybercrime. As they point out, cybercrime is often stateless. Hackers operate across borders.
When we get to the point where Crimeware-as-a-Service Threatens Banks, The Economist notes in regard to cybercrime that the growth in general wickedness online is testing the police, and underground hacker markets are peddling complete kits for hackers monetizing every piece of data they can steal or buy and are adding services, it starts to feel like, whether we like it or not, 2015 will be a watershed year for cybersecurity. With polls reporting that almost half of Americans say their card details have been stolen in a data breach, it is also no surprise to see observers suggesting that protecting consumers’ data should be at top of new Congress’ agenda.
Who pays the bill?
As the cost of data breaches starts to explode, there is mounting tension between retailers and card issuers. Banking and Credit Union association officials Jim Nussle and Camden R. Fine note the instant criminal hackers gain access to consumer financial data, they sell the information to the highest bidders. Protecting the consumer then becomes the duty of financial institutions—leaving banks and credit unions on the hook for fronting the bill. Their industry feels it’s time for retailers to join efforts to put a stop to data breaches and protect the consumer. Current U.S. laws on data protection for retailers are not as strict as financial institutions and as a result there is little incentive to address their security flaws, because financial institutions are responsible for cleaning up their mess. We expect that retailers will face increased liability as laws are almost certain to change, highlighting the potential value to retailers of participating in a privacy marketing platform like Dodoname.
The future of privacy
The Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project aims to be an authoritative source on the evolution of the Internet through surveys that examine how Americans use the Internet and how their activities affect their lives. They canvassed thousands (2,511) of experts and Internet builders to share their predictions on the future of privacy and released the results of those efforts this week.
In theintro to the report, Pew notes “The terms of citizenship and social life are rapidly changing in the digital age. No issue highlights this any better than privacy, always a fluid and context-situated concept and more so now as the boundary between being private and being public is shifting.“
We recommend the entire report as a fascinating read. It reveals that, while we all can see benefits in our ever increasing digital lifestyle, privacy does mean something. However, it’s moving so fast that all parties are struggling to decide what it does mean and where it is going. Lots of food for thought for sure, but you won’t find a simple consensus. A taste of what we mean follows and do check out the full report.
“We are at a crossroads,” noted Vytautas Butrimas, the chief adviser to a major government’s ministry. He added a quip from a colleague who has watched the rise of surveillance in all forms, who proclaimed, “George Orwell may have been an optimist,” in imagining “Big Brother.”
An executive at an Internet top-level domain name operator who preferred to remain anonymous replied, “Big data equals big business. Those special interests will continue to block any effective public policy work to ensure security, liberty, and privacy online.”
John Wilbanks, chief commons officer for Sage Bionetworks, wrote, “We have never had ubiquitous surveillance before, much less a form of ubiquitous surveillance that emerges primarily from voluntary (if market-obscured) choices. Predicting how it shakes out is just fantasy.”
An information science professional responded, “Individuals are willing to give up privacy for the reasons of ease, fastness, and convenience… If anything, consumer tracking will increase, and almost all data entered online will be considered ‘fair game’ for purposes of analytics and producing ‘user-driven’ ads. Privacy is an archaic term when used in reference to depositing information online.
Joe Kochan, chief operating officer for US Ignite, a company developing gigabit-ready digital experiences and applications, observed, “I do not believe that there is a ‘right balance’ between privacy, security, and compelling content. This will need to be a constantly negotiated balance—one that will swing too far in one direction or another with each iteration… Public norms will continue to trend toward the desire for more privacy, while people’s actions will tend toward giving up more and more control over their data.”
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about Internet privacy laws (or lack thereof) around the world, Sony’s extensive data breach, and a phishing pop quiz. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
Whose Internet privacy laws are the fairest in all the land?
Do you want the bad news first? Or the good news first?
The good news? … well… er… Christmas is coming?
According to a Sputnik News article: “The United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and France all scored three out of a possible 10 in providing legal safeguards to ensure that surveillance did not interfere with rights to privacy.”
With a lack of legislation in place to protect consumers, it’s essential that they seek out and use tools and platforms that help them to protect their own online privacy, to control their own online personas and communications with merchants. Platforms like Dodoname can help!
All the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster
Those that follow the infosecurity and Hollywood beats have been glued to their screens since the announcement of a huge data breach at Sony Pictures that shares similar plot points with many a blockbuster thriller. From Forbes: “hackers not only erased data from its systems, but also stole, and released to the public, pre-release movies, people’s private information, and sensitive documents.” Extortion attempts, ignored warnings, cryptic messages to execs from the culprits and other go-to plot points became all too real, and splashed all over the Internet this week. Even more damning is that it appears the problems were discovered long ago – with a hack recorded in February and the studio deciding to keep it quiet. <insert joke about hindsight being 20/20 here>
The repercussions of this week’s revelations are widespread and ugly, from racist jokes made by studio executives at the president of the United States expense, to the A list slinging mud and bad mouthing other A list talent. The financial implications – and reputational damage – to Sony will no doubt be long lasting and the media is sure to broadcast every last juicy detail. It is a sobering lesson for organizations that are treating cybersecurity as an afterthought.
Phishing pop quiz
It’s Friday. You’ve had a long week. You’re looking for an online activity that will get you that much closer to the weekend. This phishing email quiz is just the ticket. Can you spot the difference between a legit email and a phishing scam?
How did you rate on the quiz? Tell us in the comments. And if you didn’t do so well, don’t despair: the IT security experts that first took the quiz didn’t do much better, as a mere 6% got all questions right. And, as the article at the link mentions, “this is their job.”
By Michael Gaffney
When it comes to privacy, the needs of consumers and those of merchants are, on the surface, opposing forces: merchants need detailed information about consumers for personalization while consumers desire control over their personal information and how it is used for marketing purposes. This is, in a nutshell, the privacy dilemma.
Merchants want to know as much as they can about consumers because that information guides and directs the kinds of products to build for consumers, the messaging around those products and increases the conversion rates of those marketed to. In a 3,000-channel world, the merchant is desperate to gather and use information to exactly target a single individual. This is called personalization. Personalization is the process of tailoring communications and product features to individual users’ characteristics or preferences.
Personalization requires detailed information about the consumer. Currently, most of this information is collected without the consumer’s permission. Consumers think that they have opted in to share only a ‘little bit’ of themselves – how little we know! The advent of single sign on (“SSO”) has increased convenience while dramatically increasing privacy invasions. Using your Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin account to sign into a service creates a security risk. Using SSO makes it easy for one site to show the consumer’s actions and activities to other websites.
Using SSO opens a window to your privacy. Identity management should be a critical concern of all consumers. Online reputation is becoming more and more important, for both the consumer and for the merchant. ‘Big data’ is upon us and having correct information about consumers has an increasing monetary value.
Consumer concern about privacy is well known to be the number one issue of online consumers but consumer behavior regarding privacy is often contradictory to that fact. We claim to worry about privacy but we willingly surrender personal information all the time without really understanding where it goes and how it will be used.
How do I protect my privacy and still get the things I want on the Internet? Use a Dodoname whenever you need to register with a merchant. Since a Dodoname is not connected to any private information, there is nothing to be leaked or hacked. The opt-in persona function is your personal ‘marketing avatar’ that merchants can research and review to send offers without invading consumer privacy. Thanks to Dodoname, the privacy dilemma is solved.
(Image: Flickr, Mosier J., link)
This week in review: Cyber Monday sales and scams, the European Plan and the science behind tracking
By Don Dobson
In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts on Cyber Monday, ongoing privacy debates, including in Europe and the science behind who is tracking you. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.
Cyber Monday – sales and scams
Although figures vary quite widely depending on the source, a considerable fury of online sales was unleashed this week on Cyber Monday. ComScore reported U.S. sales of over $2 billion, a 17 percent increase over last year’s Cyber Monday, making this the “heaviest U.S. online spending day in history.” Predictably, this rush of e-commerce also captured the full attention of online bad actors. Researchers had already observed a “sharp increase” in phishing and spam activities against online shoppers and expect more to come into the holiday season. In a Politico article called “Hack Friday: Black Friday cybercrime is unstoppable,” Jay Healey, a former White House and financial sector official notes “Hunters are more likely to be out when there’s more prey to be hunted.” Bolstering that idea, reports on a study from security firm Imperva shows nearly half of all web application cyber-attacks target retailers. “This is largely due to the data that retail websites store – customer names, addresses, credit card details – which cyber criminals can use and sell in the cybercrime underworld,” said Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer at Imperva.
While email is still the prime vector for phishing, we were also reminded that social media is not immune to these threats riding the wave of a major online event such as Cyber Monday. Fake social media messages on platforms like Facebook attempted to hook unsuspecting shoppers looking for deals and discounts.
Of course, we continue to monitor news and debates around how companies use your data to track your online activities for various advertising and marketing purposes. Indeed, providing a way to have both privacy and personalization is the raison d’être behind Dodoname. It’s fascinating to see the general public slowly becoming aware of the extent to which we are tracked. Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, the Chief Marketing Officer of BitTorrent, notes recent Pew research, saying it “overwhelmingly showed the burgeoning distrust users have harbored in putting their private information online.” His article, Why privacy is like the frog in the pot of boiling water, is descriptive of what has happened to all of us. Like the proverbial frog in the pot of water that is slowly increasing in temperature, we’ve paid little notice to the tracking and erosion of privacy. With the Pew study showing that ninety percent of adults agree that we’ve lost control of our personal data, the temperature is going to start to rise for business as well.
One way the market is responding to consumer concerns is through offers like Dodoname where privacy, rather than tracking, is central to the value proposition. Another prominent example is DuckDuckGo, a search engine that puts privacy first, rather than collecting data. Gabriel Weinberg founder of the company, speaking about privacy-based products in a Guardian Article notes “I don’t think it’s a fad. One of the big things people have noticed in the last year is the ads that follow them around the Internet and that’s perhaps the most visible notion of this new tracking mindset that most companies are adopting. Those trends are not disappearing. More tracking on the Internet, more surveillance, so I think as people find out about it they’re going to be wanting to opt out in some percentage.”
The European Plan
The European Union is ahead of North America in many regards concerning privacy, including evolving regulations concerning cookie use. We’ve previously reported on so-called super cookies and device fingerprinting used to track consumers across devices, including smartphones. A Guardian article this week Europe’s next privacy war is with websites silently tracking users, notes regulators have made it clear that companies cannot bypass cookies consent by using covert methods to track users through their devices. In the article, Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group says “Building profiles to deliver personalised content and adverts clearly falls under e-privacy and data protection law.” This regulator opinion on device fingerprinting techniques seems to pave the way for developing new legislation to govern their use and protect user privacy.
The science behind tracking you
The science behind tracking and the answer as to why techniques that track users across devices are being pursued by companies on both side of the Atlantic can be found in a MIT Technology Review article we shared this week: New Technology for Tracking Consumers Across Devices Grows Results.
Companies like Adometry are using probabilistic identification methods, to link smartphones to desktops accurately enough to justify ad placements. Drawbridge, of San Mateo, California, says it can “take anonymous signals from the device and do a kind of statistical space-time triangulation.” By performing the analysis over time, Drawbridge identifies clusters of devices and then figures out which are paired, providing confidence that they have the same user. The results provide marketers with data that is accurate enough for retargeting and attribution.
Still, we are just at the beginning of what marketers would like tracking to accomplish. As various vendors build their own technology and tech companies like Apple or Google seek dominance of their own proprietary methods, Adometry CEO, Casey Carey offers the opinion that Marketers need a new system to track customers across platforms.