Consumers Still Do Not Understand How Companies Use Their Data

More than one year after the implementation of GDPR in Europe and with CCPA looming, consumers still have no idea how and why companies like Google and Facebook collect their data. That’s according to a global survey by mobile marketing firm Ogury, the largest of its kind to ask consumers about their understanding of marketing and privacy.

Nearly 40% of respondents in both Europe and the US were ignorant of what GDPR is. But more significant is that 52% of consumers report not understanding how their data is used.

Foursquare Acquires Placed, Announces $150M in Funding

Foursquare and Placed are location tech’s new power couple.

The location intelligence firm is acquiring Placed, which had previously been bought by Snap for its top-rate online-to-offline attribution solution, and the two will offer one of the most powerful attribution solutions in the location industry, to be called Placed powered by Foursquare. 

As ad tech faces tougher times and a privacy-driven crackdown on data collection and ad targeting practices, more mergers and acquisitions are likely to transform the industry’s terrain. Teaming up and stockpiling as much first-party data as possible, thereby eliminating the need for less compliant modes of data harvesting, will boost the longevity of some firms while others flounder.

SMBs Warm Up to New Tech But Are Skeptical of Impersonal Interactions

A freshly released report from SMB software firm Broadly uses data from a survey of 300 SMB leaders to paint a picture of the American SMB in 2019: gradually embracing mobile-first communication, skeptical of innovation that undercuts human connection, and ambivalent toward large digital marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy.

To Understand the Tech Industry’s Responsibilities, We Must Think Differently About Humanity

These questions would be preludes to less abstract ones that will seem more familiar to the creatures of Silicon Valley. Is Facebook responsible if people use WhatsApp and Messenger to spread false news and incite genocide? Is that just the fault of (heinous) people being (heinous) people or should the platforms be held accountable? As for privacy and data collection, what rights do people have to safeguard their information from the communications platforms they use? What does data scraped from Google search or Amazon’s facial recognition technology have to do with our identities? Can data be human?

Google Integrates Food Delivery into Search, Maps, Assistant

More or less following the model of Reserve with Google, which has seamlessly integrated the process of reserving a table at a nearby restaurant into SERPs, Google is now integrating food delivery into search, Maps, and Assistant, keeping consumers on Google properties for the entire journey as they make transactions via third-party couriers.

Consumer Dollars Are Up for Grabs—If Retailers Can Master the Basics

To maintain the business of today’s consumers, consistency is key. Just under 70% of respondents said they’re less likely to return to a store after just one subpar experience. As for what earns a shopper’s approval, only 19% of consumers said they seek out food or entertainment from stores. More important are fundamental technical capabilities like mobile app integration and access to WiFi. Two thirds of shoppers even said retailers are too focused on experimental tech and should pay more attention to the building blocks of good retail strategy.

Consumers Hungry for New Content Discovery Channels on Mobile

The content consumers are craving is personalized and brief. Over 40% said they would like content experiences between 15 and 30 seconds, and another 26% favored engagement somewhere between 30 and 90 seconds. Despite amplified privacy concerns of late, 68% indicated a willingness to trade some personal information in exchange for content tailored to their interests.

Brands still trigger-happy on mobile push notifications may want to reconsider. Twenty-five percent of respondents ranked them as their least liked content delivery method among current and future modes of discovery.

Twitter Time: Responsible Writing in Today’s Media Landscape

If criticism of Twitter and the news media is ubiquitous, it is largely because content on those platforms so often fails to rise to the challenge of responsibility. It aims to produce outrage and push partisan narratives without interrogating its assumptions and all the facts in play. It lacks thought at a time when the endless and rapid reproduction of content in digital space demands we be more thoughtful than ever because we never know where and in how many places our words will reappear.

San Francisco Partially Bans Facial Recognition, Putting Technology’s Future in Doubt

Civil rights and privacy activists asked, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors delivered.

The city banned the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and other municipal agencies on Tuesday, becoming the first in the country to do so. Other bills in the works in Massachusetts and even on Capitol Hill suggest that additional restrictions on the technology may be forthcoming. 

Local Social Network Nextdoor Raises $123 Million

The digital advertising proposition for Nextdoor is obvious—what better way to drive customers into nearby brick-and-mortar stores than to generate buzz on a social platform centered on users’ physical location? Venture capitalists see the value proposition, as Chris Varelas, co-founder and managing partner at Riverwood, proclaimed Nextdoor as the “future of local community and commerce.”

Report: Websites and GMB Profiles Both Essential for Local Businesses

A whopping 64% of respondents indicated relying on Google My Business to find contact information for local business, suggesting it’s an indispensable platform. Yet consumers still trust local business websites most of all, and only 8% say they never consult a business’ website when making shopping decisions.

Factual Partners with Airship and Braze to Power Location-Based Mobile Marketing

The partnership will enhance Airship and Braze’s efforts to furnish clients with precise mobile messaging based on the location of the customers they want to reach. Airship and Braze help brands engage their customers, retaining their business and ideally driving them back in-store. Airship rebranded, dropping the Urban from its name, last month.

Foursquare’s Location-Based Loyalty Metrics Point to Best Practices for Casual Restaurants

Brushing aside customer surveys and other imprecise measures of customer loyalty, location intelligence firm Foursquare released a location-based report this morning that evaluates best practices and practitioners in loyalty among casual restaurant chains. 

Most importantly for future considerations, the report suggests that brands can improve loyalty in all four of the areas that contributed to its index.

Report: Consumer Expectations for Brands Higher than Ever in Age of Convenience

With the omnichannel age upon us, the impact of bad customer experiences is unprecedented. The main fear for businesses should no longer be a standoff between the worker behind the customer service desk and the angry customer who failed to get his discount; it should be the rant that hits social and is shared or liked a slew of times, dragging digital reputations through the mud.

Walmart Tests Out the “Future of Retail” in Long Island Store

There’s no time for the future of retail like the present. That is the motto at Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, a live experiment in AI-driven shopping experiences that is now open to the public at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, NY. 

Facebook Expects Record-Setting FTC Fine for Privacy Violations

Five billion would be a record for FTC punishment of a tech company and would signal harsher scrutiny to come for an industry that has accrued unparalleled wealth and power with little regulatory oversight. Facebook’s fine comes after a saga of instances in which it failed to protect user data. Most damningly, the company vowed to shore up its data protection practices in 2011 and can now be accused of failing to uphold that promise.

Report: Upon Unlocking Phones, People Flock to Social, Messaging

Anyone with a smartphone unimmune to our pervasive cultural addiction with digital communication will be unsurprised: It’s WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook that currently capture most of the attention when we mindlessly unlock our mobile devices.

That’s according to media measurement company Verto Analytics, which released a report just this morning on the earliest part of the mobile journey: what happens right when we unlock our phones some 50 times per day.

Borrell Associates Names Jim Brown President

Borrell Associates, a firm that provides cutting-edge insight for the location marketing industry, announced a leadership change on Tuesday. Jim Brown, previously vice president of sales, will take on the role of president, partnering with Corey Elliott, newly minted senior VP of local market intelligence, to help steer Borrell into the future.

Freckle IoT Announces Attribution Backed by Fully Compliant First-Party Data

With privacy top of mind for marketers, offline measurement firm Freckle IoT is hitting the market this morning with an expanded attribution product backed by just about the most compliant consumer data on the market. Its compliance is secure because it comes from Killi, a consent management company also founded and headed up by Freckle Founder and CEO Neil Sweeney.

AI Is No Magic Bullet for Policing Hateful Content

The task Facebook must take up as it attempts to police hateful content is one inseparable from political values, human judgment, and the interpretation of statements that need to be parsed by well-trained eyes and bright minds with a stomach for horror to boot. While machines will play an indispensable role in content moderation on a platform of Facebook’s scale, they will be far from sufficient. That’s because monitoring hate speech touches on nothing less than some of humanistic inquiry’s age-old questions: the debatable violence, status of truth, and foundations of meaning in language.