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Supercharging retail sales through geospatial analytics
March 2019 | | McKinsey | By Rob Hearne, Alana Podreciks, Nathan Uhlenbrock, and Kelly Ungerman.

A retailer can now use geospatial analytics to understand the interactions between its online and offline channels. With these insights, it can create a higher-performing retail network.
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Is our outlet store in San Francisco hurting foot traffic and sales at our full-price store two miles away? Or is it doing the opposite—attracting new customers and making them more likely to visit both stores? How are our five Manhattan stores affecting our e-commerce revenue? Are they making consumers more likely to shop on our website or to search for our products on Amazon? If we open a new mall store in the Dallas metro area, what impact will it have on sales at our existing stores, at our department-store partners, and online?

The answers to these kinds of questions are increasingly crucial to a retailer’s success, as more and more consumers become omnichannel shoppers......most retailers don’t give adequate thought to the cross-channel impact of their stores. They rely on gut feel or on high-level analysis of aggregated sales data to gauge how their offline and online channels interact.....there’s a way for retailers (and other omnichannel businesses) to quantify cross-channel effects, thus taking the guesswork out of network optimization. Through advanced geospatial analytics and machine learning, a retailer can now generate a detailed quantitative picture of how each of its customer touchpoints—including owned stores and websites, wholesale doors, and partner e-commerce sites—affects sales at all its other touchpoints within a micromarket......US retail sales are on an upward trajectory.....despite the growth of e-commerce, the vast majority of these purchases still happened in brick-and-mortar stores. .....So why have US retailers closed thousands of stores in the past year, with thousands more closures to come?....Because the consumer journey is changing!!......Consumers are transacting in different channels....engaging across multiple channels, often simultaneously rather than sequentially. It’s critical for omnichannel retailers to have a detailed understanding of the interplay between online and offline touchpoints, and between owned and partner networks.

Quantifying cross-channel effects

the starting point is data......from a wide range of internal and external sources. Inputs into a geospatial model would ideally include not just transaction and customer data but also store-specific details such as store size and product mix; site-specific information such as foot traffic and retail intensity; environmental data, including local-area demographics; and anonymized mobile-phone location data.......A simulation model can then quantify the sales effect of each of the retailer’s customer touchpoints on its other channels within a local market. The model must be sophisticated enough to simulate the upward or downward revenue impact of adding or removing a particular touchpoint.

Geospatial analysis reveals that the consistency and magnitude of cross-channel effects vary significantly across channel types and markets.
analytics  bricks-and-mortar  cross-channel  customer_journey  customer_touchpoints  data  e-commerce  foot_traffic  geospatial  gut_feelings  location_based_services  McKinsey  moments_of_truth  omnichannel  privacy  retailers  store_closings  security_consciousness  site_selection 
march 2019 by jerryking
Roger McNamee on how to tame Big Tech
February 7, 2019 | Financial Times | Roger McNamee.

Government intervention of this kind is a first step on the path to resolving the privacy issues that result from the architecture, business models and culture of internet platforms. But privacy is not the only problem we must confront. Internet platforms are transforming our economy and culture in unprecedented ways. We do not even have a vocabulary to describe this transformation, which complicates the challenge facing policymakers....Google, Facebook and other internet platforms use data to influence or manipulate users in ways that create economic value for the platform, but not necessarily for the users themselves. In the context of these platforms, users are not the customer. They are not even the product. They are more like fuel.....Google, Facebook and the rest now have economic power on the scale of early 20th-century monopolists such as Standard Oil. What is unprecedented is the political power that internet platforms have amassed — power that they exercise with no accountability or oversight, and seemingly without being aware of their responsibility to society......When capitalism functions properly, government sets and enforces the rules under which businesses and citizens must operate. Today, however, corpor­ations have usurped this role. Code and algorithms have replaced the legal system as the limiter on behaviour. Corporations such as Google and Facebook behave as if they are not accountable to anyone. Google’s seeming disdain for regulation by the EU and Facebook’s violations of the spirit of its agreement with the US FTC over user consent are cases in point......AI promises to be revolutionary. That said, it will not necessarily be a force for good. The problem is the people who create AI. They are human...McNamee recommends two areas of emphasis: regulation and innovation. As for the former, the most important requirement is to create and enforce standards that require new technology to serve the needs of those who use it and society as a whole. ...... The IoT requires our approval. Do not give it until vendors behave responsibly. Demand that policymakers take action to protect public health, democracy, privacy, innovation and the economy.
accountability  Alexa  antitrust  artificial_intelligence  biases  Big_Tech  consent  dark_side  Facebook  Google  Industrial_Internet  monopolies  personal_data  platforms  political_power  privacy  Roger_McNamee  sensors  surveillance  unintended_consequences 
february 2019 by jerryking
Japan gears up for mega hack of its own citizens
February 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leo Lewis.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s 68-year-old minister for cyber security, stands ready to press the button next week on an unprecedented hack of 200m internet enabled devices across Japan — a genuinely imaginative, epically-scaled and highly controversial government cyber attack on homes and businesses designed as an empirical test of the nation’s vulnerability. A new law, fraught with public contention over constitutionally-guaranteed privacy, was passed last May and has just come into effect to give the government the right to perform the hack and make this experiment possible. The scope for government over-reach, say critics, cannot be overstated. Webcams, routers and other devices will be targeted in the attacks, which will primarily establish what proportion have no password protection at all, or one that can be easily guessed. At best, say cyber security experts at FireEye, the experiment could rip through corporate Japan’s complacency and elevate security planning from the IT department to the C-suite.

The experiment, which will run for five years and is being administered through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, is intended to focus on devices that fall into the broadly-defined category of “internet of things” (IoT) — anything from a yoga mat that informs a smartphone of your contortions, to remotely controlled factory robots. And while cyber experts say IoT security may not be the very top priority in the fight against cyber crime and cyber warfare, they see good reasons why Japan has chosen to make its stand here.....warnings that the rise of IoT will create a vast new front of vulnerability unless the security of, for example, a web-enabled yoga mat is taken as seriously by both manufacturers and users as the security of a banking website. The big cyber security consultancies, along with various governments, have historically relied on a range of gauges to calculate the scale of the problem. The Japanese government’s own National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) uses scans of the dark web to estimate that, of the cyber attacks it detected in 2017, 54 per cent targeted IoT devices.
C-suite  cyberattacks  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  dark_web  experimentation  hacks  Industrial_Internet  Japan  overreach  preparation  privacy  readiness  testing  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
february 2019 by jerryking
Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
DEC. 10, 2018 | The New York Times | By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DeVRIES, NATASHA SINGER, MICHAEL H. KELLER and AARON KROLIK.
location_based_services  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  privacy  surveillance  tracking 
december 2018 by jerryking
Big Investors Don’t Want Wall Street Analysts Snooping on Them - WSJ
June 14, 2018 | WSJ | By Telis Demos

the research shops are finding ways to make up the lost revenue, turning to readership data. They do say that information is power, and in this case I guess the banks have the power again.
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I think the WSJ is conflating two very different issues. The privacy concerns apply on ethical (possibly criminal) grounds rather than moral ones, in the example given of hedge funds asking a broker to provide aggregated readership data. It's very hard to imagine a responsible research provider doing this. The other piece - the tracking of utilization of research product is exactly what brokers need to do to ensure they are being paid appropriately for the level of service a client is receiving. MiFID 2 has and will continue to put pressure on how much research clients consume, and to precisely account for how much they pay for it. Transparency is a two-way street. A 90-day embargo on the readership data is a simple solution, as quarterly/bi-annual reviews should suffice to true-up the bank/client ledger.

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behavioural_data  investment_research  institutional_investors  reading  research_analysts  snooping  traders  Wall_Street  buy_side  informational_advantages  privacy  transparency 
june 2018 by jerryking
‘Splinternet’ to herald a trade war for the ages
Rana Foroohar | FT| March 5, 2018.

Steel and aluminium tariffs announced by President Trump have, of course, sucked up all the attention in recent days....but the bigger fight will likely be over intellectual property, and who gets what slice of that pie in the coming years. Most corporate wealth is now held in the top 10 per cent of IP rich companies, most of which sit on the West Coast of the US......China, however, is gaining ground in key areas like AI and quantum computing, and has also ringfenced most of the tech sector as a “strategically important” area in which domestic companies are given preference......A more interesting question is whether data and technology will become the subject of broader national defence-related protectionism. In many ways you could make a much easier case for section 232, the “national defence” clause that Mr Trump invoked around steel, in technology. The steel sector in the US has plenty of spare capacity and section 232 also stipulates that national allies could fill any gap, something which the president seems to have overlooked. Technology, meanwhile, is much more proprietary and sensitive — not to mention crucial for every industry and every part of national security.

A tech-based trade war would likely splinter the US, China and Europe into three separate regions. The EU is already going in a very different direction to the US in terms of regulation of the high tech sector, with more stringent privacy rules and limits on how much data can be used by companies for AI, and in what fashion.....Such a Balkanisation, which experts now refer to as “the Splinternet”, would change the functioning of the internet as we know it. It would also represent a trade battle for the ages.
Rana_Foroohar  intellectual_property  tariffs  crossborder  international_trade  NAFTA  digital_economy  protectionism  privacy  FAANG  China  trade_wars 
march 2018 by jerryking
Singapore experiments with smart government
January 22, 2018 | FT | by John Thornhill.

Singapore has a reputation as a free-trading entrepôt, beloved of buccaneering Brexiters. ....But stiff new challenges confront Singapore, just as they do all other countries, in the face of the latest technological upheavals. Is the smart nation, as it likes to style itself, smart enough to engineer another reboot?.....Singapore is becoming a prime test bed for how developed nations can best manage the potentially disruptive forces unleashed by powerful new technologies, such as advanced robotics and artificial intelligence...Naturally, Singapore’s technocratic government is well aware of those challenges and is already rethinking policy and practice. True to its heritage, it is pursuing a hybrid approach, mixing free market principles and state activism.

Rather than passively reacting to the technological challenges, the island state is actively embracing them....“The real skill of Singapore has been to reverse engineer the needs of industry and to supply them in a much more cost-effective way than simply writing a cheque,” says Rob Bier, managing partner of Trellis Asia, which advises high-growth start-ups...To take one example, the country has become an enthusiastic promoter of autonomous vehicles. The government has created one of the most permissive regulatory regimes in the world to test driverless cars.....GovTech’s aim is to help offer seamless, convenient public services for all users, creating a truly digital society, economy and government. To that end, the government is acting as a public sector platform, creating a secure and accessible open-data infrastructure for its citizens and companies. For example, with users’ permission, Singapore’s national identity database can be accessed by eight commercial banks to verify customers with minimal fuss. A public health service app now allows parents to keep check of their children’s vaccinations.

By running with the technological wolves, Singapore is clearly hoping to tame the pack.
Singapore  autonomous_vehicles  dislocations  traffic_congestion  aging  smart_government  disruption  robotics  automation  artificial_intelligence  test_beds  reboot  city_states  experimentation  forward-thinking  open-data  privacy  reverse_engineering 
january 2018 by jerryking
The Six Laws of Technology Everyone Should Know WSJ
Nov. 26, 2017 | WSJ |By Christopher Mims.

1. ‘Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral’ Melvin Kranzberg in the 1960s. He became a technology historian. Prof. Kranzberg’s first law is also his most important. He realized that the impact of a technology depends on its geographic and cultural context, which means it is often good and bad—at the same time. (E.g. DDT, a pesticide and probable carcinogen nonetheless saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in India as a cheap and effective malaria prevention. Or, Facebook groups, serve as a lifeline for parents of children with rare diseases while also radicalizing political extremists. Tech companies' enormous power means they have an obligation to try to anticipate the potential impact of anything they produce.....however, the dirty little secret of highly accomplished people is what we’ve had to neglect to achieve that,” (JK: tradeoffs) “To become spectacular at any discipline in technology means you’re not well-equipped to address these questions.”

2. ‘Invention is the mother of necessity.’ Yes, that’s backward from the way you remember it. It means “every technical innovation seems to require additional technical advances in order to make it fully effective,” In our modern world, the invention of the smartphone has led to the necessity for countless other technologies, from phone cases to 5G wireless. Apple’s cure for staring at your phone too much? A smartwatch to glance at 100 times a day.

3. ‘Technology comes in packages, big and small. To understand any part of a technological package requires looking at its interaction with and dependency on the rest of it—including the human beings essential to how it functions. While innovation destroys jobs, it also creates countless new ones.

4. ‘Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.’ “People think technology as an abstraction has some sort of intrinsic power, and it doesn’t,” “It has to be motivated by political power or cultural power or something else.”

Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president, software engineering, spoke about differential privacy, which Apple says is a way to collect user data while protecting the individual’s anonymity.
More broadly, lawmakers are taking an interest in everything from privacy and data transparency to national security and antitrust issues in tech—more because of a shift in our culture than in the technology itself.

5. ‘All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.’ The Cold War led to the buildup of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them anywhere on Earth. That led to the development of a war-proof communication system: the internet..... But does that mean we owe the modern world to the existential contest between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R.? Or was that conflict itself driven by previous technological developments that allowed Hitler to threaten both nations?

6. ‘Technology is a very human activity.’ “Technology is capable of doing great things,” .....how we use technology is up to us. The trick is, because technology generally reaches mass adoption via corporations, those businesses must think of the consequences of their actions as well as how they profit from them. When corporations don’t, regulators, journalists and the public sometimes do it for them.

As Prof. Kranzberg presciently noted at the dawn of the internet age, “Many of our technology-related problems arise because of the unforeseen consequences when apparently benign technologies are employed on a massive scale.”
anonymity  anticipating  Christopher_Mims  Cold_War  contextual  cultural_power  high-achieving  necessity  nuclear  overachievers  political_power  privacy  problems  scaling  technology  tradeoffs  unforeseen  unintended_consequences 
november 2017 by jerryking
Verizon Wants to Build an Advertising Juggernaut. It Needs Your Data First - WSJ
By Ryan Knutson
Sept. 5, 2017

Verizon still wants customers to opt-in to its most comprehensive advertising program, called Verizon Selects. Data collected under the program is shared with Oath, the digital-media unit Verizon created when it bought AOL and Yahoo.

Since access to data from customers could make it easier to tailor ads to their liking, Verizon hopes the information will help it gain advertising revenue to offset sluggish growth in its cellular business. .....Verizon makes it clear during the sign-up process what data consumers are giving up: Information about their demographics and interests, what websites they visit, what apps and features they use, and their location.

The disclaimer quickly drew criticism in the tech world. Adam Levin, a consumer advocate and founder of data-security firm CyberScout, warned in a column on HuffPost that the “hidden cost of Verizon’s ’free’ rewards program is your data.”
Verizon  privacy  loyalty_management  digital_strategies  location_based_services  opt-in  Verizon_Up  subscriptions  advertising  personal_data  Verizon_Selects 
september 2017 by jerryking
Vacuums that suck up data fuel privacy concerns
August 16, 2017 | Financial Times | by Aliya Ram.

............Larger questions are being asked. As investors plough money into artificial intelligence (AI) and robots infiltrate deeper into people’s homes, concerns have grown that data-sharing between different technology groups could open the door to unknowable and uncontrollable privacy infringements.

The concern is that technological advances have far outstripped sluggish developments in privacy law and regulation, allowing companies to monetize the most intimate information about how people live and giving governments more opportunities for surveillance.

IRobot has sold 18m home robots around the world and its Roomba vacuum cleaners connect with Amazon and Google’s smart assistants so customers can control them with voice commands. Although it does not sell data, any plans to do so in future could create significant new revenue streams......Consumers will also have the right to be forgotten and to withdraw their consent, which could make things complicated for companies that want to share data with third parties.....“Smart-home appliances and devices are in a privileged position as they are placed at one’s home. These devices are increasingly equipped with motion, environment sensors, and with the ability to communicate with remote servers or other devices — there are a great deal of privacy risks here that must be managed.”
iRobots  privacy  home_appliances  personal_data  mapping  smart_homes  sensors  Roomba  artificial_intelligence  robotics  customer_data 
august 2017 by jerryking
Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold
JULY 25, 2017 | The New York Times | By MAGGIE ASTOR.

High-end models of Roomba, iRobot’s robotic vacuum, collect data as they clean, identifying the locations of your walls and furniture. This helps them avoid crashing into your couch, but it also creates a map of your home that iRobot is considering selling to Amazon, Apple or Google.

Colin Angle, chief executive of iRobot, told Reuters that a deal could come in the next two years, though iRobot said in a statement on Tuesday: “We have not formed any plans to sell data.”

In the hands of a company like Amazon, Apple or Google, that data could fuel new “smart” home products.

“When we think about ‘what is supposed to happen’ when I enter a room, everything depends on the room at a foundational level knowing what is in it,” an iRobot spokesman said in a written response to questions. “In order to ‘do the right thing’ when you say ‘turn on the lights,’ the room must know what lights it has to turn on. Same thing for music, TV, heat, blinds, the stove, coffee machines, fans, gaming consoles, smart picture frames or robot pets.”

But the data, if sold, could also be a windfall for marketers, and the implications are easy to imagine. No armchair in your living room? You might see ads for armchairs next time you open Facebook. Did your Roomba detect signs of a baby? Advertisers might target you accordingly.... iRobot said that it was “committed to the absolute privacy of our customer-related data.” Consumers can use a Roomba without connecting it to the internet, or “opt out of sending map data to the cloud through a switch in the mobile app.”

“No data is sold to third parties,” the statement added. “No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers.”
data  mapping  privacy  location_based_services  LBMA  advertising  smart_homes  iRobot  homes  home_appliances  home_automation  home_based  informed_consent 
july 2017 by jerryking
Can the Tech Giants Be Stopped? -
July 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Jonathan Taplin.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and other tech behemoths are transforming the U.S. economy and labor market, with scant public debate or scrutiny. Changing course won’t be easy....."we are rushing ahead into the AI universe with almost no political or policy debate about its implications. Digital technology has become critical to the personal and economic well-being of everyone on the planet, but decisions about how it is designed, operated and developed have never been voted on by anyone. Those decisions are largely made by executives and engineers at Google, Facebook, Amazon and other leading tech companies, and imposed on the rest of us with very little regulatory scrutiny. It is time for that to change.

Who will win the AI race? The companies that are already in the forefront: Google, Facebook and Amazon. As AI venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee recently wrote in the New York Times , “A.I. is an industry in which strength begets strength: The more data you have, the better your product; the better your product, the more data you can collect; the more data you can collect, the more talent you can attract; the more talent you can attract, the better your product.”".....How did we get here? I would date the rise of the digital monopolies to August 2004, when Google raised $1.9 billion in its initial public offering......This shift has brought about a massive reallocation of revenue, with economic value moving from the creators of content to the owners of monopoly platforms. Since 2000, revenues for recorded music in the U.S. have fallen from almost $20 billion a year to less than $8 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. U.S. newspaper ad revenue fell from $65.8 billion in 2000 to $23.6 billion in 2013 (the last year for which data are available). Though book publishing revenues have remained flat, this is mostly because increased children’s book sales have made up for the declining return on adult titles.....The precipitous decline in revenue for content creators has nothing to do with changing consumer preferences for their content. People are not reading less news, listening to less music, reading fewer books or watching fewer movies and TV shows. The massive growth in revenue for the digital monopolies has resulted in the massive loss of revenue for the creators of content. The two are inextricably linked......In the third quarter of 2016, companies owned by Facebook or Google took 90% of all new digital ad revenue. ....The history of Silicon Valley itself offers some guidance here. The astonishing technological revolution of the past half-century would never have occurred without the impetus of three seminal antitrust prosecutions. ....The clear historical lesson, which is waiting to be rediscovered in our own day, is that antitrust action has often served not to constrain innovation but to promote it.
Apple  Alphabet  Big_Tech  Google  Amazon  Microsoft  Facebook  artificial_intelligence  privacy  antitrust  Silicon_Valley  content  platforms  virtuous_cycles  content_creators  public_discourse  oligopolies  oversight  value_migration  regulation  innovation  seminal  no_oversight  imperceptible_threats  FAANG  backlash  Kai-Fu_Lee 
july 2017 by jerryking
Three Hard Lessons the Internet Is Teaching Traditional Stores
April 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.
Legacy retailers have to put their mountains of purchasing data to work to create the kind of personalization and automation shoppers are getting online
(1) Data Is King
When I asked Target, Walgreens and grocery chain Giant Food about loyalty programs and the fate of customers’ purchasing data—which is the in-store equivalent of your web browsing history—they all declined to comment. ...Data has been a vital part of Amazon’s retail revolution, just as it was with Netflix ’s media revolution and Google and Facebook ’s advertising revolution. For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor-thin. ....Physical retailers must catch up to online retailers in collecting rich data without making it feel so intrusive. Why, exactly, does my grocery store need my phone number?

(2) Personalization + Automation = Profits
Personalization and Automation = Profits
There’s a debate in the auto industry: Can Tesla get good at making cars faster than Ford, General Motors and Toyota can get good at making self-driving electric vehicles? The same applies to retail: Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers? [the great game ]

Online retailers know what’s popular, and how customers who like one item tend to like certain others. So Amazon’s physical bookstores can put out fewer books with more prominently displayed covers. Bonobos doesn’t even sell clothes in its stores, which it calls “guideshops.” Instead, customers go there to try clothes on, and their selections are delivered through the company’s existing e-commerce system.

Amazon’s upcoming Go convenience stores, selling groceries and meal kits, don’t require cashiers. That’s the sort of automation that could position Amazon to reap margins—or slash prices—to a degree unprecedented for retailers in traditionally low-margin categories like food and packaged goods.

While online retailers are accustomed to updating inventory and prices by the hour, physical retailers simply don’t have the data or the systems to keep up, and tend to buy and stock on cycles as long as a year, says George Faigen, a retail consultant at Oliver Wyman. Some legacy retailers are getting around this by teaming up with online players.

Target stocks men’s shaving supplies from not one but two online upstarts, Harry’s and Bevel. Target has said that, as a result, more customers are coming in to buy razors, increasing the sales of every brand on that aisle—even good old Gillette. Retailers have long relied on manufacturers to drive customers to stores by marketing their goods and even managing in-store displays. The difference is this: In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first.

(3) Legacy Tech Won’t Cut It

Perhaps the biggest challenge for existing retailers, says Euromonitor’s Ms. Grant, is finding the money to transition to this hybrid online-offline model. While Target has announced it will spend $7 billion over the next three years to revamp its stores, investors fled the stock in February after Target reported 2017 profits might be 25% less than expected.

When Warby Parker, the online eyeglasses retailer, set out to launch stores across the U.S., the company looked for in-store sales software that could integrate with its existing e-commerce systems. It couldn’t find a system up to the task, so it built one from scratch.

These kinds of systems allow salespeople to know what customers have bought both online and off, and what they might be nudged toward on that day. “We call it the ‘point of everything’ system,” says David Gilboa, co-founder and co-chief executive.

Having this much customer knowledge available instantly is critical, but it’s precisely what existing retailers struggle with, Mr. Faigen says.

Even Amazon is experiencing brick-and-mortar difficulties. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Go stores would be delayed because of kinks in the point-of-sale software system.

Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.

The problem, he says, is that selling online isn’t just about taking orders through a website. Companies that succeed are good at selling direct to consumers—building technology from the ground up, integrating teams skilled at navigating online marketing’s ever-shifting terrain and managing the experience through fulfillment and delivery, Mr. Katz-Mayfield says.

That e-commerce startups are so confident about their own future doesn’t mean they are right about the fate of traditional retailers, however.

A report from Merrill Lynch argues Wal-Mart is embarking on a period of 20% to 30% growth for its e-commerce business. A spokesman for the company said that in addition to acquisitions, the company is focused on growing its e-commerce business organically.

It isn’t hard to picture today’s e-commerce companies becoming brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s harder to bet on traditional retailers becoming as tech savvy as their e-competition.[the great game]
lessons_learned  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  curation  personalization  e-commerce  shopping_malls  automation  privacy  Warby_Parker  Amazon_Go  data  data_driven  think_threes  Bonobos  Amazon  legacy_tech  omnichannel  Harry’s  Bevel  loyalty_management  low-margin  legacy_players  digital_first  Tesla  Ford  GM  Toyota  automobile  electric_cars  point-of-sale  physical_world  contra-Amazon  brands  shelf_space  the_great_game  cyberphysical  cashierless  Christopher_Mims  in-store  digital_savvy 
april 2017 by jerryking
Is Your Stuff Safe in the Cloud? - WSJ
By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
March 14, 2017

COnsider private clouds
cloud_computing  privacy  digital_storage  Dropbox  Apple  Google 
march 2017 by jerryking
Don't kid yourself that robots are colleagues
4 March 2017/5 March 2017 | Financial Times | by John Thornhill

Lunch with the FT: Daniel Dennett
Cambrian_explosion  philosophers  philosophy  artificial_intelligence  transparency  privacy  institutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
What Are Your Rights if Border Agents Want to Search Your Phone? - The New York Times
By DANIEL VICTORFEB. 14, 2017
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travel  mobile_phones  privacy  civil_liberties 
february 2017 by jerryking
The world wild web; The future
These days advertisers are feeling less certain of themselves. They are still trying to come to grips with the radical changes technology has brought to the way advertising is consumed, sold and perso...
future  advertising  privacy  personalization  David_Ogilvy  tradeoffs 
february 2017 by jerryking
Little Brother
Sep 11th 2014 | The Economist | Alexandra Suich.

In 1963 David Ogilvy, the father of Madison Avenue and author of a classic business book, “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, wrote: “An advertisement is like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar, and keep it sweeping.”.....Behavioural profiling has gone viral across the internet, enabling firms to reach users with specific messages based on their location, interests, browsing history and demographic group......Extreme personalisation in advertising has been slow to come... online advertising space is unlimited and prices are low, so making money is not as easy as it was in the offline world,.....Digital advertising is being buoyed by three important trends. The first is the rise of mobile devices, such as smartphones....The second, related trend is the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which have become an important navigation system for people looking for content across the web. ......The third big development has been the rise of real-time bidding, or “programmatic buying”, a new system for targeting consumers precisely and swiftly with online adverts. Publishers, advertisers and intermediaries can now bid for digital ads electronically and direct them to specific consumers at lightning speed.....The lines between established media businesses are becoming blurred. Richard Edelman, the boss of Edelman, a public-relations firm, describes the media and advertising business as a “mosh pit”. .... clients’ biggest question is whether people will even notice their ads. ...This special report will show that technology is profoundly changing the dynamics of advertising. Building on the vast amount of data produced by consumers’ digital lives, it is giving more power to media companies that have a direct relationship with their customers and can track them across different devices. ....Consumers may gain from advertising tailored to their particular needs, and so far most of them seem content to accept the ensuing loss of privacy. But companies are sensitive to the potential costs of overstepping the mark. As the head of one British advertising firm puts it: “Once people realise what’s happening, I can’t imagine there won’t be pushback.”
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Ogilvy_&_Mather  David_Ogilvy  behavioural_targeting  pushback  books  effectiveness  haystacks  privacy  native_advertising  ad-tech  Conversant  Kraft  personalization  trends  mobile_phones  smartphones  social_media  real-time  auctions  programmatic  advertising  online_advertising  Omnicom 
february 2017 by jerryking
The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future - The New York Times
Farhad Manjoo
STATE OF THE ART FEB. 24, 2016

In an Internet of Things world, every home appliance could be turned into a listening post. That’s why the Apple case matters. ... controversy over whether Apple should be forced to unlock an iPhone
Apple  FBI  privacy  Industrial_Internet  connected_devices  Farhad_Manjoo  home_appliances  encryption  surveillance  civil_liberties  cryptography  iPhone 
february 2016 by jerryking
Hoxton Analytics: Counting footfall for retailers - FT.com
September 8, 2015 12:02 pm
Hoxton Analytics: Counting footfall for retailers
Richard Newton

The retail research company was founded with the aim of reconciling the desire of retailers to monitor footfall and shopper demographics with their customers’ dislike of in-store video surveillance.

Owen McCormack, CEO and one of the two UCL data scientists who set up the business, says pointing the camera at shoes preserves customer privacy....The information is used to manage staffing, merchandising and the measurement of customer conversion rates.
retailers  analytics  foot_traffic  privacy  in-store 
september 2015 by jerryking
Big Data rewards come with tricky set of risks for companies - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 03 2014

It was a sign that Loblaw Cos. Ltd. was taking a specific strategy with its loyalty program: telling people who shop at the company’s stores that their purchases would be recorded and tracked, but that they would be offered something of value in return: rewards for buying the things they like best.

In an age of “Big Data,” companies are scrambling to better target their communications with customers. If done right, businesses hope that this will eliminate more of the irrelevant advertising that makes people tune out at best and irritates them at worst.

But it has also thrown the advertising industry into a potentially damaging situation. As more of our behaviour is tracked, both online and off, many consumers are becoming wary about how their information is stored and used. Combine that with repeated instances of massive breaches of data security, and the corporate world faces the threat of losing the trust of consumers altogether....One area where consumer data is particularly important is in mobile advertising, where companies send people real-time offers on their mobile phones. But consumers are cautious. In supermarkets, 66 per cent of Canadians said that offers on their phones would make them uncomfortable.

“The complexity of the context is something that, if a marketer doesn’t feel their way through that, they can misstep,”
massive_data_sets  Loblaws  Susan_Krashinsky  data_breaches  mobile  contextual  advertising  loyalty_management  Aimia  privacy  risks  location_based_services  missteps 
november 2014 by jerryking
They’re Tracking When You Turn Off the Lights - WSJ - WSJ
By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN
Oct. 20, 2014

Tech companies have used the technologies and techniques collectively known as big data to make business decisions and shape their customers’ experience. Now researchers are bringing big data into the public sphere, aiming to improve quality of life, save money, and understand cities in ways that weren’t possible only a few years ago....Municipal sensor networks offer big opportunities, but they also carry risks. In turning personal habits into digital contrails, the technology may tempt authorities to misuse it. While academics aim to promote privacy and transparency, some worry that the benefits of big data could be lost if the public grows wary of being monitored... Anthony Townsend, author of the book “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia.”...The goal isn’t to sell products or spy on people, the academics say, but to bolster quality of life and knowledge of how cities function
cities  massive_data_sets  sensors  urban  privacy  smart_cities  predictive_analytics  books  quality_of_life  customer_experience  open_data  community_collaboration  white_hats 
october 2014 by jerryking
How the big-data revolution can help design ideal cities - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 24 2014

The big-data revolution faces two key challenges, both concerning the collection of information.

First, as is always the case when it comes to monitoring individuals and collecting details about their lives, is privacy. Second, there is the issue of using that data responsibly....Once municipalities have that consent, there is then the issue of harmonizing data sets in order to gain a fuller picture of issues. For instance, if a municipality wants to understand water-consumption levels, it helps to know how they track weather patterns.

Many cities are still struggling to understand how to use big data, but it promises to be a hugely important urban-planning tool.
algorithms  IBM  real-time  urban  sensors  municipalities  massive_data_sets  cities  data  decision_making  privacy  urban_planning  open_data 
september 2014 by jerryking
Google takes aim at Apple with new gadgets launch - The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD - TECHNOLOGY REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 25 2014,

Among the products unveiled were Google Fit (a health and fitness platform), Android Auto (which brings the popular operating system to cars) and Android TV.

Many of these products seem to mirror similar offerings recently released by Google’s chief rival, Apple. For example, at the iPhone-maker’s own developers’ conference earlier this month, the company boasted of its own fitness software platform, HealthKit, and a tool called CarPlay that offers drivers a safer way to use their iPhones in the car....In the fight for connected device dominance, the companies’ strategies are markedly different.

Whereas Apple’s mobile product lineup has always had a razor-sharp focus, Google tends to design and announce myriad product types and categories, and then quietly retire those that don’t catch on with consumers.
Omar_el_Akkad  Google  Android  software_developers  Apple  product_launches  privacy  connected_devices  Industrial_Internet  mobile_applications  wearables 
june 2014 by jerryking
The hot, confusing mess that is digital privacy — Tech News and Analysis
By Derrick Harris
Aug. 22, 2013

It’s all about how you use it

OK, so we should regulate how companies use data rather than what they can collect. That has been a big push from the technology industry, and it certainly makes more sense than limiting what’s gathered — especially considering that most rights to gather data are granted contractually (capitalists love contracts) and it’s just so easy to collect it. But how do you regulate usage?

Even if we make companies like Google and Facebook tell users how they’re using user data, there’s still the challenge of timing. Surely, we can’t expect companies to get consent from users every time they’re experimenting with some new product or new model using our data, right? That seems like it would be a pretty big hindrance on innovation — push your product ideas into the public eye or get slammed with penalties.

Further, granting real permission is based on having all the facts. “We’re going to use your personal data for targeted advertising” is a lot different than saying “We’re going to take your age, city, site behavior and — ooh, you signed in via Twitter — Twitter account info to predict that you’re black, white, rich, poor, healthy or suffering from herpes.” If we were to mandate the latter type of disclosure, would we expect consent every time a company’s data scientists reweighted the variables in their models or found some new correlations? Could we revoke permissions because something happened and our profiles suddenly look less appealing?
privacy  permissions  data  mydata  transparency  SLAs  customer_agreements 
april 2014 by jerryking
Smile, you're on WiFi
January 31, 2014
That cellphone in your pocket is emitting a constant stream of information - and retailers are starting to listen in

Ivor Tossell

Mexia, a Winnipeg-based "location analytics" company that's one of a new crop of firms that are supplying retailers with technology that listens in to smartphone signals. Mexia installs Bluetooth and WiFi receivers in specific zones around a store. By measuring the occurrence and relative strength of your phone's passive, unwittingly sent signals, it can tell whether customers are lingering longer in the housewares department, the kitchen aisle or near the checkout. The company says it has deployed sensors in between 80 and 100 stores so far; it also does malls and airports. "We report on a multitude of things, from the traditional traffic count to the time spent in the store," says Glenn Tinley, Mexia's founder and president. "It gets pretty interesting, to say the least."
wi-fi  Bluetooth  mobile_phones  location  location_based_services  tracking  Mexia  Turnstyle  customer_loyalty  shopping_experience  privacy  analytics  confidentiality 
february 2014 by jerryking
Deloitte: Companies Engage in ‘Hidden Market for Data Monetization’ - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 23, 2014 | WSJ | By Michael Hickins.

Companies are engaging in “a hidden market for data monetization,” and are starting to “trade data among themselves for mutual benefit,” according to John Lucker, Deloitte LLP’s market leader for advanced analytics and modeling. The question they still haven’t wrestled to the ground is how much is too much data, and when does trading data cause consumers to revolt.
data  monetization  exhaust_data  privacy  data_marketplaces  CIOs  hidden  latent 
february 2014 by jerryking
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race — Tech News and Analysis
By John Foreman, MailChimp
Jan. 18, 2014

meat space is an internet-first way of viewing the world.

The research questions that might be answered with this type of tracking data are endless:

What menu items served at breakfast at the resort hotel restaurants will result in the longest stay at the park?
Do we detect an influx of park-goers into the bathrooms for long stays on the toilet? Perhaps they all ate at the same place, and we can cut off a foodborne illness problem before it gets worse.
Is there a roller coaster that’s correlated with early park departure or a high incidence of bathroom visits? That means less money in the park’s pockets. How might that coaster be altered?
Is there a particular ride and food fingerprint for the type of park visitor that’s likely to buy in-park high-dollar merchandise? If so, can we actively get vendors in front of this attendee’s eye by moving hawkers to them at just the right time?
data  privacy  Disney  RFID  sensors  massive_data_sets  data_driven  data_scientists  theme_parks  personalization  tracking  scheduling  queuing  meat_space  digital_first  questions 
january 2014 by jerryking
Stop Asking Me for My Email Address - NYTimes.com
January 10, 2014, 6:02 pm 192 Comments
Stop Asking Me for My Email Address
By NICOLE PERLROTH
privacy  cyber_security  hacking  passwords 
january 2014 by jerryking
Comments to The Economics of Surveillance
4:54 pm September 29, 2012
Jassa Skott wrote:

Can you elaborate on how this works: “data that once seemed anonymous can actually identify people if it’s pooled with other...
letters_to_the_editor  massive_data_sets  mobile_applications  smartphones  privacy  anonymity  pooling 
january 2014 by jerryking
The Economics of Surveillance - Digits - WSJ
Sep 28, 2012 | WSJ | By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries.

surveillance has crept into people’s lives gradually as computers have become more efficient and cheaper – and as data analysis has become more enticing. The price for businesses to store and use a gigabyte of information for a year dropped from $18.95 in 2005 to $1.68 in 2012, and it’s expected to drop to just 66 cents in 2015, says market research firm IDC....The average price of a cellphone has increased 17% over the past 10 years – but processing capability has increased by 13,000% in that same time, ABI says. This allows phones to do things such as shoot video, get email and locate the user on a map, but it also means the devices store a lot of information about people that can be collected and tracked.

“Nowadays cellphones are sensors,” said says Col. Lisa Shay, a professor of electrical engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who studies tracking technology. “You’re now carrying a personal sensor with you at all times.”
surveillance  massive_data_sets  privacy  data  sensors  digital_storage  economics 
january 2014 by jerryking
New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates - WSJ.com
September 29, 2012 | WSJ | By Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries.

The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people's everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception. Cellphone-location data, online searches, credit-card purchases, social-network comments and more are gathered, mixed-and-matched, and stored in vast databases.....License-plate databases contain revealing information about people's locations. Police can generally obtain it without a judge's approval. By comparison, prosecutors typically get a court order to install GPS trackers on people's cars or to track people's location via cellphone.

License-plate databases don't contain names and addresses of vehicle owners, although that information is available from separate state Department of Motor Vehicle databases.

Data about a typical American is collected in more than 20 different ways during everyday activities, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
GPS  location_based_services  massive_data_sets  mobile_phones  privacy  surveillance  tracking 
january 2014 by jerryking
Google's Privacy Balancing Act - WSJ.com
By
Amir Efrati
connect
Updated July 30, 2013
Google  data  privacy 
october 2013 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz: White Hats vs. Black Hats - WSJ.com
August 4, 2013 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.

The NSA says 42 terror-related plots have been disrupted, thanks to its surveillance program.

In the language of computer hacking, the good guys are "white hats," who identify weaknesses in systems so they can be fixed. "Black hats" are the ones who take advantage of weaknesses in systems.......A white-hat hacker would point out what happens when intelligence agencies fail to monitor communications data. Gen. Alexander pointed out that the 9/11 plots succeeded because of avoidable intelligence failures, citing the example of an intercept of a phone call from Yemen involving one of the 9/11 hijackers. "We didn't have the tools and capabilities to see that he was actually in California," Gen. Alexander said. "The intelligence community failed to connect those dots."
black_hats  NSA  security_&_intelligence  surveillance  9/11  privacy  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  terrorism  U.S._Cyber_Command  connecting_the_dots  white_hats 
august 2013 by jerryking
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