Three privacy bills proposed in Illinois

(Mar 23, 2017) The Illinois State Senate is considering three privacy-related bills concerning the right to let citizens know about the data collected about them, unauthorized device microphone recordings protection, and the prohibition of unwanted geolocation services, dubbed the Right to Know Act, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act and the Microphone-Enabled Device Act, respectively, ConsumerAffairs reports. Illinois Senator Michael Hastings emphasized that citizens should know where their data goes, and... Read More

Google Maps update allows users to share location with contacts

(Mar 23, 2017) Wired reports Google Maps has released a new update allowing users to share their location in real time with their contacts for as long as they want to, allowing them to receive notifications or links as their travel progresses. While the location sharing may evoke privacy concerns, the report states, choosing who users can share with may make them more comfortable with the service. “If you can couch it in social, it’s your friends that can track you — not that Big Brother can track you, not tha... Read More

Turow discusses new book on surveillance and shopping

(Mar 14, 2017) In an interview with CSM Passcode contributor Evan Selinger, author and professor Joseph Turow discusses his new book on consumer surveillance, "The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power." Consumer tracking is considerably more sophisticated than shoppers think, surpassing just targeted ads, and encompasses tools such as GPS, cross-device tracking and facial recognition, Turow said. Retailers use this information to forecast potential purc... Read More

Privacy pros and the ethics of big data tech

(Mar 6, 2017) Last Friday, The New York Times reported on a controversial program created by Uber to allegedly evade law enforcement and regulation of its services. Called "Greyball," the program leveraged information collected by Uber's app with several other techniques to identify potential law enforcement and regulatory officials, including by geofencing offices, scraping publicly available social media posts, and identifying credit card information linked to law enforcement. Though many of these practices... Read More

FTC investigates auto lender's GPS-tracking 'kill switches'

(Feb 22, 2017) Ars Technica reports the Federal Trade Commission is investigating an auto lender that requires borrowers of subprime loans to attach GPS starter-interrupter devices, also known as kill switches, on purchased vehicles. The devices can constantly monitor the location of the vehicles and shut the car off and prevent it from being started, making repossession easier. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Michigan's Credit Acceptance Corp. said it had received a civil investigative demand ... Read More

Lawmakers introduce GPS Act to prevent illicit geolocation tracking

(Feb 16, 2017) Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., introduced a bill designed to create rules for when agencies can track and access a citizen's geolocation data. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act is aimed at any law enforcement agencies looking to obtain geolocation information on any individual without their knowledge. The GPS Act will create penalties for anyone attempting to track any person without prior authorization, and prohibits commerci... Read More

Trans-Atlantic app merger highlights cultural approaches to privacy

(Feb 9, 2017) U.S.-based social network app Nextdoor has acquired a similar, U.K.-based app, Streetlife, but the apps' different approaches to privacy have angered many British users of the soon-to-be-defunct service, BBC News reports. Nextdoor has its users divulge their real names and addresses, while Streetlife does not publish as many details. When Streetlife users were offered a chance to transfer over to Nextdoor, they were shocked to see their location information available for all to see. Some U.K. us... Read More

Acxiom, NinthDecimal enhance location data partnership

(Jan 25, 2017) Mobile location information company NinthDecimal is teaming up with data services company Acxiom, Advertising Age reports. While the companies have been working together since 2014, their newer, more integrated partnership will allow clients to build custom audiences by merging data from both companies and targeting ads to customers through various online ad-buying platforms. Large retailers have already started using the companies’ data to offer targeted and measured ads. "We're running this fo... Read More

Cross-device Tracking: An FTC Report

(Jan 24, 2017) This report describes the FTC’s November 2015 Cross-Device Tracking Workshop, which included discussions about how cross-device tracking works, the benefits and challenges of cross-device tracking, and industry efforts to address the privacy and security implications of this practice. It concludes by providing recommendations to businesses on how to apply the FTC’s longstanding privacy principles to cross-device tracking. Specifically, the report recommends that companies engaged in cross-device... Read More

New partnership allows advertisers to better track consumer location

(Jan 20, 2017) A new partnership will help digital marketers better understand whether their campaigns are resulting in increased store visits, Advertising Age reports. Freckle IoT has teamed up with five platforms for programmatic ad sales helping marketers track whether ad exposure boosted traffic within stores. Freckle IoT examines mobile device proximity information from both beacon data providers and through app and publisher partners. The company has teamed up with Adelphic, AppNexus, MediaMath, The Trad... Read More