Retargeting Picking Up—And So Are Privacy Concerns

Last month, Google announced a new “remarketing” feature, allowing advertisers to later target people who’d visited their sites or YouTube channels. Retargeting like this is a popular marketing topic: an survey (via) found that slightly under 70% of marketers had never used it, but 46.3% of marketers thought retargeting was the “most underutilized marketing strategy.”

With Google just getting in on the market, obviously the time is ripe for established companies to make bigger moves as well. However, as with all behaviorally targeted marketing, protecting consumer privacy is a big concern—especially for consumer privacy watchdogs. The Center for Digital Democracy has filed with the FTC asking for a probe into behavioral targeting by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, among others. This is just the most recent volley in that battle.

And You Thought Google Was Big Brother?

A lot of concern circulates about just how much information a company like Google has on individuals and virtually everything else. While it makes me queasy at times as well, I don’t get the same Orwellian feeling about Google as I do about the government and the data they collect. That’s why the White House’s new policies on social media interaction with the public are both interesting and a bit troubling all at once.

The Washington Post reports

Soon it will be much easier to interact with government through tweets, blogs and wikis without forcing federal agencies to jump through the procedural hoops set up by the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Google Testing Skype Challenger?

Google Voice has become a fan favorite for its ability to handle voicemail and have it follow you wherever you need it to. Very handy. You can receive and manage voicemails through Google voice from various numbers and have separate messages for certain callers etc etc etc. The one thing it has not provided, however, is an endpoint for calls so while a good tool, it has been limited.

In November 2009 Google purchased Gizmo5 and the rumor mill started humming about what Google had up its sleeve with regard to the use of their newly acquired VOIP tool box.

Since that purchase was all of 5 months ago that seems like several Internet lifetimes to not move the needle on that rumor. Well, TechCrunch is reporting that there is something to talk about.

Only 6% Trust Their Twitter Login to Other Sites

You’ve probably noticed a trend over the past couple of years of sites allowing you to login using your an existing credentials from Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

According to a survey of 170,000 web sites, JanRain says that Google is–surprise, surprise–the login of choice for many web users:

While it may look like another area of total dominance by Google, the login of choice changes when you look at those logging-in to media or technology platforms:

So what can we take from this data? Not much actually. Who knows why we prefer to use Facebook when logging into technology sites, but prefer Google overall? I suspect that technology and media sites may have more of an aversion to letting users login with big-brother Google, hence more occurrences of Facebook, Twitter, and other sites deemed to be less of a threat.

Apple to Announce New Mobile Ads, And Google’s the Happiest of All

Apple is hosting an iPhone developer event Thursday, where they’ll most likely talk about adapting to the iPad—and a new mobile advertising platform. While I’m sure the developers and Apple are pretty excited at the prospect of more money, it’s Google that might be cheering the loudest.

Once upon a time, the two companies were friendly, but especially since Google has entered the mobile phone market, the two have become rivals—and that’s exactly why Google will be excited to see a new ad platform from Apple. After Google announced its acquisition of in-app ad platform AdMob in November, they’ve faced scrutiny from consumer groups and the FTC, especially since there appear to be few rivals for

FCC vs. Comcast on Net Neutrality: FCC Loses

After the NCAA championship Monday, one of the sportscasters noted, “Duke won this game [OH YES THEY DID!]; Butler didn’t lose it.” [Also true—awesome game.]

After years of a case dragging through the courts (not unusual, but still), I think we can say something similar about the FCC’s challenge to Comcast on principles of Net Neutrality: the FCC lost this case; Comcast didn’t win it. That is to say, Comcast’s reasons for blocking BitTorrent downloads weren’t just so awesome that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously declared Comcast the winner—it was Comcast’s claim that the FCC doesn’t currently have the authority to enforce Net Neutrality.

Digg “Unbanning” All Previously Banned Web Sites

Well, well. Apparently Kevin Rose is not messing around, now that he’s taken over the reigns of Digg.

No sooner had the door hit Jay Adelson on the way out, Rose has decided to reverse two very unpopular decisions.

The first–actually the second on his list, but I think you’ll find it more interesting–is the decision to lift the ban on the many sites that had previously faced the Digg blackball:

…with the launch of the new Digg will be unbanning all previously banned domains. While we will apply automated filters to prevent malware/virus/TOS violations, no other restrictions will be placed on content.