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Want Detailed Personal Data? Just Promise People a Shot at Being On TV

The Million Second Quiz - Season 1Personal data is a valuable commodity. Many people will happily tell a brand their age, their income, their education level etc, as long as they get something in return. Points, coupons, gifts, cash – the more you want to know, the higher the payout. $5 might get you a three-page online survey, but if you want someone to show up for a focus group, it’s going to cost $30 and up.

Every year, big brands fork over millions to either gather or buy data on their customers but NBC just got 300,000 people to give up their personal data for free.

Okay, so they had to pay out $2.6 million to the winner of their flop of a summer game show but that’s chump change compared to the value of the acquired data.

Younger Internet Users More Likely To Take Action Regarding Privacy

Our favorite research group, The Pew Internet and American Life Project, has produced a new report about online privacy.

We always recommend that you take a deep dive into any Pew research because it is free and it doesn’t have an agenda (in other words, it’s not research as PR which seems to be the norm these days).

The report entitled, Anonymity, Privacy and Security Online, looks at the hottest subject in the online space: privacy. Privacy is the anti-big data play in the online space. It’s something that keeps marketers up at night because the less data there is about online users the less targeted marketing messages can be.

Add to that the findings that show that the youngest Internet users are working the hardest to have some semblance of online privacy and the marketing team could have a harder time reaching their targets. Here is a comparison by age group about who tries to do what with regard to privacy.

Pew Research Online Privacy

Are You Sure You Want to Know What Google Knows About You?

It’s not news that Google knows more about you than your parents do (or your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend etc etc). We know that and, to a certain extent, sign off on allowing it to happen.

The Wall Street Journal did an interesting piece looking at Google, privacy and the extent of their knowledge (as well as other entities like Facebook). I suggest you read it for the details. The following image gives some insight into just how much Google has on one WSJ reporter.

What Google Knows

This quote from the WSJ article really sums it all up though.

FTC Commissioner To Push “Reclaim Your Name” Privacy Initiative

computer-security3The never ending battle for possession of consumer data looks to be taking a significant swing in the direction of the consumers themselves if Julie Brill, an FTC commissioner gets her way.

Network World reports

U.S. consumers should be able to reclaim control of their personal data from data brokers, websites and other companies, a member of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Commissioner Julie Brill, a long-time privacy advocate, will push for an initiative called Reclaim Your Name that would give consumers knowledge and technology tools to reassert control over personal data held by companies, she said. Consumers should be “the ones to decide how much to share, with whom and for what purpose,” Brill said during the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Twitter Gets A Buddy In The White House

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteTwitter’s legal director of products, Nicole Wong, has joined the Obama administration as deputy U.S. chief technology officer.

Following in the footsteps of Google who has a rich history of sending ex-Googlers to Washington, DC to help the world (yes there is a bit of sarcasm there), Twitter now can count a White House staffer amongst its alums.

The Washington Post reports

Twitter executive Nicole Wong is joining the Obama administration as deputy U.S. chief technology officer, the White House said in a statement Thursday.

Wong, who has been Twitter’s legal director of products since November, will be working on Internet privacy and technology issues, according to a spokesman for the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In Spite of Data ‘Fears’, Facebook Looks to Get Even More Information on Users With Free Wi-Fi Service

facebook-icon 1Hey, you can’t blame Facebook for wanting more data on its users. Marketers want it and will pay for it so Facebook is looking for new ways to provide it.

The latest comes in the form of a free wi-fi offering that is being used in the San Francisco area. Wired reports

The idea of offering people free Wi-Fi in exchange for their physical coordinates began at Facebook as a one-off experiment, a project by two engineers during an all-nighter in May 2012. Since then, Facebook has gradually spread what it now calls “Facebook Wi-Fi” further and further beyond the company’s corporate walls, deploying the system to cafes in Palo Alto and San Francisco and even into a line of routers made by Cisco.

Google Looks to Distance Itself From Its Competition Amidst NSA Data Leak Fallout

google-logo1In the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden, many tech companies have been looking to distance themselves from the controversy by releasing how many requests they receive for information from the US government. The latest to take that step was Yahoo! yesterday which followed suit with the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.

Google is taking this battle to the next level as reported in the Washington Post

Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government.