January Focus: Pursuing Privacy

This is the latest in Street Fight’s “Pursuing Privacy” series – our editorial focus in January, including topics like GDPR, CCPA and location data collection. See the rest of the series here and our full slate of monthly themes here.  


One of the breakout topics in digital media and commerce in 2019 was privacy. Facebook continued to sit at the center of a firestorm of data collection scrutiny while GDPR gained its footing, and iOS13 brought new levels of transparency for how and when apps collect your data and track your movement.

Now, as we straddle the precipice of a new year and a new decade, the next milestone in privacy legislation looms: the California Consumer Privacy Act. As California’s version of GDPR, it is the first major US privacy legislation. It will set a precedent and kick-start a domino effect for other states and may even lead to federal data privacy moves.

“Pursuing privacy” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of January. You may have noticed our monthly themes: December focused on the connected consumer, November’s focused on holiday shopping, October on local commerce verticals, and September on mapping (more on those in a bit).

Our privacy focus is central to the future of local given the sensitivities and shifting strategies around location data collection. The timing is right because CCPA officially took effect yesterday. Though enforcement doesn’t kick in until Q2, companies are subject to new rules now.

This means that companies throughout the local media and commerce sectors (likely including yours, if you’re in the industry) are scrambling to develop comprehension and compliance with new laws. Among other things, this includes providing clear calls to action in digital media for consumers to opt-out of data collection.

CCPA will have wide-ranging effects beyond California. Because California is such a large market, brands and ad tech players that operate in the US will likely apply CCPA compliance across the board to avoid operating two sets of protocols.

The second implication for CCPA is that it could cause a shakeout in the location intelligence sector. The space has gotten crowded and supply-saturated as location data companies have come out of the woodwork. Now the bar is raised, given iOS13 and various legislation, to acquire data responsibly.

We’ll circle back to these and all other aspects of the state of privacy regulations throughout the month. That includes our in-house reporting as well as the thematic alignment of our editorial contributors.

It’s also worth noting that January marks one full year of Street Fight’s monthly themes. To better communicate this organizational structure, we’ve created a page that lists all the themes. These are last year’s themes, with some evergreen topics that will make encore appearances in 2020.

We’ll assign those themes on a dynamic basis as a given month approaches. And we’ll make these judgment calls based on the market’s temperature and hunger for the topical mix. You can bet we’ll use a lot of the same themes from last year, as they resurface organically, while introducing a few more.

We mention this now so that you can browse the themes and see where you might like to be part of the narrative. That includes editorial contributions and lots of opportunities for sponsorship. Contact us for all of the above, and stay tuned for more formal media kits and other information we’ll roll out soon.

Beyond these themes, we’ll also cover the entire location technology and media sectors that you’ve come to expect. We’ll do that daily in the pages of Street Fight as well as Street Fight Daily and our biweekly podcast. We hope to hear from you and we hope you’ll keep reading as we chronicle an exciting year.

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Mike Boland is Street Fight's lead analyst, author of the Road Map column and producer of the Heard on the Street podcast. He has been an analyst in the local space since 2005, covering mobile, social and emerging tech. More biographical information can be seen at www.mikebo.land