• Digging into the Cross-Device Implications of the Verizon-AOL Deal

    By: Staff | May 14 2015

    Verizon has access to deterministic data – and now it ostensibly owns the programmatic tech to put that data to work via AOL, which the telecom bought for $4.4 billion on Monday.

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  • Researching the New Shopper Experience

    By: Jeff Chester | May 7 2015

    The internet and the usage of smartphones has altered buying –shops are becoming much more experience oriented. They deliver emotions, they address certain values and develop a narrative for shoppers. New payment methods, self-service cashiers are out, while digital signage is getting more accessible. In short, there are many new questions around the shopper. We want to give an update about the recent trends and findings.

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  • Ad Tech Mergers & Acquisitions, Plus the Rise of the Single Stack

    By: Jeff Chester | May 6 2015

    Twitter’s recent agreement to purchase mobile retargetting company TellApart was just the latest round in the ongoing industry consolidation.

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  • Protecting Consumers from Data-driven and Cross-device “Native” Advertising

    By: Jeff Chester | May 6 2015

    So-called “native advertising” ─where advertiser-produced or –directed content is designed to blend in with online editorial information ─ is quickly becoming a dominant way American consumers receive marketing. Marketers in the U.S. spent nearly $8 billion last year on native ads (up $3 billion from 2013), which is expected to rise to $21 billion by2018.1 Native ads are where the “format and the tone match that of a publisher’s original editorial content.2

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  • Google expands data profiling with new DMP, for 1st and 3rd party info targeting

    By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 27 2015

    Answering Your Questions About Google's Forthcoming DMP

    by Zach Rodgers // Friday, April 24th, 2015 – 3:53 pm

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  • How YouTube, Big Data and Big Brands Mean Trouble For Kids and Parents

    By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 9 2015

    There is a “digital gold rush” underway to cash in on young people’s passion for interactive media. Google and other media and ad companies are working to transform kids’ clicks and views into bundles of cash and burgeoning brand loyalty.
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  • YouTube Kids App Accused of Sneaky Advertising

    By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 7 2015

    April 7, 2015

    Consumer groups want the FTC to investigate Google over what they consider deceptive advertising toward kids. Click to watch the Video.

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  • Clinical-data theft could prove problematic for Premera

    By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 3 2015

     
    The cyberattack against Premera Blue Cross disclosed this week affects significantly fewer people than this year's Anthem hack, but the value of the information exposed could pose a bigger threat to the insurer.

    Premera discovered in January that a May 2014 cyberattack breached a system holding 11 million people's records, the company announced on Tuesday. The records exposed may have included clinical and financial records, in addition to personal information like addresses and Social Security numbers. Anthem has said it believes the theft of data on nearly 80 million customers and employees was confined to the latter category.

    Medical-record theft can be particularly costly for the victims. A February 2015 report from the Ponemon Institute surveying medical-identity theft victims found that about two-thirds said they had paid money to resolve the theft. Those patients paid an average of $13,500.

    Patients may be able to seek damages for identity theft that occurs years after the free identity-theft protection the company is offering has ended, said Ken Dort, a partner in the law firm Drinker Biddle who specializes in information technology. The plaintiffs, however, would have to prove that the theft was linked to the Premera hack, which could be difficult.

    Eric Earling, Premera's vice president of communications, said it's too early to say whether the breach will significantly affect Premera's bottom line. He declined to say whether Premera had a cybersecurity insurance policy. Anthem has said its cybersecurity policy would limit the damage to its financial results.

    “We're in a position as a company even before any of this where we're successful as a business and we have strong reserves to provide for our customers,” Earling said.

    Though Premera is offering customers two years of free credit-monitoring and identity-theft protection, that will do little to protect them against identity thieves who may wait a few years to use or sell the data. Plus, experts say, most credit-monitoring programs don't protect customers against the effects of medical-identity theft, which can be far more harmful.

    When asked what Premera was doing to protect its members' clinical information from being used fraudulently, a Premera spokesman referred the inquiry to Experian, the company hired to provide credit-monitoring for affected customers.

    An Experian spokeswoman said the product would track whether an individual's medical-record number or insurance card is used to purchase medical services that go unpaid because that would appear on an individual's credit report. Experian does not track changes in the medical record, and it does not monitor the use of information to make claims for medical services until those services go unpaid.

    Changes to medical records caused by medical-identity theft can be particularly harmful to patients, Modern Healthcare reported earlier this month. Fraudulent use can even be lethal if it means allergies or conditions aren't properly noted in the record.

    Having an individual's personal, clinical and financial information gives identity thieves a more convincing profile, allowing them to engage in what's called “total identity theft,” said Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a San Diego-based non-for-profit organization.

    The trifecta of data accessed in this case is the “worst-case scenario," Dixon said. "The people who were exposed in this breach will have to be on guard for at least a decade."

    The company says that it has no evidence that hackers actually removed data from its systems, only that the systems were breached. But Dixon said there are ways the attackers could have stolen data without a trace and that she wouldn't be surprised if they did given the length of time they had access.

    Although companies are under pressure to be more proactive about data security, the number and size of recent breaches suggest it's increasingly likely consumers will have their information exposed at some point.

    “You now have a situation where to be a reasonable consumer you almost need to sign up with one of the (credit protection) bureaus on a nonstop basis,” Dort said.

    Follow Adam Rubenfire on Twitter: @arubenfire

    insurer.

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  • Network Neutrality, Protecting Privacy & placing limits on the power of the "old" &"new" media: Net Freedom

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 8 2015

    The Internet and our digital media are quietly becoming a pervasive and manipulative interactive surveillance system.  Leading U.S.

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  • Leading U.S. Consumer & Privacy Groups call on Pres. Obama to Revise Privacy Bill; Stronger Safeguards Needed

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 3 2015

    The letter (attached) was sent today to Pres. Obama. 

    Jeff Chester, CDD's executive director, explained that the Administration's proposal--released last Friday--fails to give consumers the control over their data the President promised.  It was signed by:

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  • Promising Start by White House on Privacy; But will it empower people over Big Data in the digital era? Role of TTIP/trade

    By: Jeff Chester | Jan 12 2015

    We await to review the text of proposed privacy bills announced today by President Obama.  Next month will mark the third anniversary of the promise by the White House to release  "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" legislation.  The "Bill of Rights" for privacy is supposed to empower an individual to have serious control over how their data is gathered and used.   While the "Bill of Rights" incorporates high-minded principles, we fear that at the end of

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