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Posts tagged with Privacy

Online privacy has never been guaranteed: why so surprised?

I've been following the debate recently caused by Facebook's latest change to their privacy policy, which seems to have got everyone talking about just how much privacy people should expect when they're 'living' in a social world.

Whilst I agree that people need to be clear on exactly which bits of their information is being shared and which is private, I don't think this is worth the furore that it's currently causing. Here's why...


The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine mortifies Facebook and for good reason

With every new year comes many resolutions. Usually, those resolutions are designed to change one's life for the better.

For those who are literally addicted to online social networking, a possible resolution: commit online suicide. Depending on how many accounts you have and the particular services you're looking to ditch, however, that can be a tough resolution to keep.


Netflix's "Brokeback" problem could get messy

It looks like Netflix might be spending more than $1 million on a recent campaign to improve its recommendation engine. The movie rental company recently held a contest that successfully improve its recommendation by more than 10%. But now an in-the-closet lesbian woman is suing the company for privacy invasion, saying that she could have been outed due to Netflix sharing data that wasn't quite so anonymous.

While her claims may be spurious, this could have legal implications for the ways user information is shared and stored online.


Will Facebook's privacy blunder hurt advertisers most?

The self-inflicted wounds Facebook received from its new privacy setup are getting deeper as some users pull their information, and others quit the social network altogether.

While I think that a lot of the criticism being leveled at Facebook is hyperbole, Facebook's new privacy regime does represent an almost 180-degree turn for the world's largest social network.


As social networking goes public, will users stop sharing?

Social media matters to individuals (and subsequently marketers) because people trust information sent by friends more than data shared by strangers. But are moves to make social information public going to send people fleeing from sharing their information online?

That's the argument from Julia Andwin, who writes today in The Wall Street Journal that she's going to submit to Facebook's new public policy. And never share anything of value again online:


Facebook goes public — and hopes that users don't get in the way of its plans for digital domination

Facebook today went live with new privacy settings the company announced this summer. The new settings purport to give users more control of the ways their information is shared, but the default settings (which most users never touch) are set to send user data to the greater web.

Why is that? Because for Facebook to capitalize on its store of in depth user information, it needs to make that information public.

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More foolishness: German government officials claim Google Analytics is illegal

Are government bureaucrats in Europe trying to kill the commercial internet? If you've been following all of the laws, directives and general bureaucratic gobbledygook lately, you just might start to think the answer is 'yes'.

And now comes a new gem: some government officials in Germany apparently believe that Google Analytics is illegal. That's right, the free analytics service provided by Google is a threat to the citizens of Germany and they must be protected!


EU: no cookies without consent. Will EU affiliate programs be killed?

Earlier this year, I wrote about an EU plan to require that internet users consent to cookies before they're placed on their computers. At the time, I called the plan "absurd".

Which must be precisely why the Council of the EU has approved a directive amending legislation to do just that. The announcement of this potentially horrendous action? Well-hidden in an 18 page Council press release.


What customers want: a benevolent Big Brother?

In the movie What Women Want, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson) has an accident and finds himself able to hear what the women around him are really thinking. At first he uses it to his advantage selfishly before he falls in love.

Chances are you're not going to suffer from an accident that gives you Nick Marshall-like abilities, but fortunately when it comes to finding out what customers want, market research can tackle the challenge.


Coming soon to a search near you: Google Apps documents

In the near future, your Google search results might contain something you hadn't noticed before: documents published through Google Apps.

According to The Register, Google sent an email to Google Apps users last Friday indicating that some documents published through Google Apps will soon be indexable by Google's crawler.


Will tough privacy regulations hurt startups?

The calls for tough government regulation designed to protect the privacy of internet users are getting stronger in the United States. But could there be unintended fallout if regulations are implemented?

Jeremy Liew, a managing partner at VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, thinks so. In his opinion, the impact of the level of regulation that is being demanded "would be enormous for companies relying on online advertising".


BT gets wise, terminates Phorm - for now

Phorm, the company whose web tracking technology sparked international controversy, had a bad Monday as BT got wise and decided to drop its use of Phorm's Webwise product.

Phorm's loss, however, is a major victory for consumers.