Audi Teams with Amazon and DHL for Point of Trunk Delivery

Audi will soon begin testing a new service in Germany that will allow consumers to order Amazon goods and have them delivered to the trunk of their cars through DHL’s messenger service. For the service to work, messengers will need to track a customer’s vehicle via GPS and have access to the trunk using a temporary authorization pass. This new model offers a solution to a common issue that arises with most delivery services — attempting to make home deliveries when there is no one present. Continue reading Audi Teams with Amazon and DHL for Point of Trunk Delivery

Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Nielsen and Roku have started working together to measure the audience demographics of ads that play through Roku streaming devices. That means Roku will be the first Internet-connected TV platform that will be able to offer the same audience guarantees as traditional television. Advertisers will already be familiar with the Nielsen audience breakdowns, which will also be integrated into the Roku Ad Framework toolkit. The companies will be testing the new tracking this summer. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

SnapStream is known for making massive DVRs for media productions like “The Colbert Report,” but now the company is introducing a less expensive DVR that is still loaded with features. The SnapStream Express may prove too expensive to be a consumer product, but businesses may be drawn to the functionality and $499 price tag (plus $99/month service fee). It has 2TB of internal storage, an intelligent search function, and a Web-based interface designed for PCs. The DVR can also post clips directly to social media. Continue reading SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

AT&T and Verizon Track Customer Web Browsing, Sell The Data

Two of the largest Internet providers are making money by tracking customers’ Web browsing with supercookies and in-house traffic scanning. This allows AT&T and Verizon to sell a highly personalized ad-targeting program that will place ads in websites, email, and even snail mail. Verizon customers can now opt out and disable the supercookies for free, but AT&T customers seeking privacy will have to pay several fees that could tack on an additional $60 to their monthly bill. Continue reading AT&T and Verizon Track Customer Web Browsing, Sell The Data

Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

Google is testing a new TV ad-tracking system in Kansas City. The technology is reportedly similar to that used for measuring online ad views. The system could represent the Holy Grail for today’s advertising since it potentially provides targeting on a scale never before made possible. While the gross ratings point based on Nielsen viewers remains the industry standard, relatively few households have Nielsen boxes. However, every Google Fiber subscriber has a Google Fiber box, which could be used to target consumers. Continue reading Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

Numerous Smart Devices May Now Be Secretly Recording Users

Consumers criticized Samsung for recording users through its smart TVs and sending the data to a third party, but other companies reportedly take a similar approach. Many of the audio recordings come from devices with voice recognition, like LG’s smart TVs or Amazon Echo. Such recording of unknowing users is not limited to the living room. Automobiles from companies such as GM and Chevrolet can record and send information about a driver’s speed, location, and their route to work. Continue reading Numerous Smart Devices May Now Be Secretly Recording Users

AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

GigaPower by AT&T, the company’s 1 gigabit-per-second service, was introduced in 2013 in Austin, Texas — and this week it rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri. While customers can enjoy ultrafast fiber-optic Internet access for $70 per month, AT&T also tracks their online activities. Those who prefer to keep their browsing habits private can pay an additional $29 a month. Since opting out of sharing such data is typically offered free of charge, some are questioning whether AT&T’s model will discourage people from doing so. Continue reading AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

The developers of “Assassin’s Creed” have teamed up with Tobii Tech to provide gamers with the ability to control the camera in the game with their natural eye movement. Tobii Tech calls it an “infinite screen” experience, tracking the user’s gaze at 50 frames per second. Users don’t have to even move their mouse to get the camera to pan or click pause when they look away from the screen. The “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” PC game will be one of the first to include this new technology when it launches early next month. Continue reading “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” Game Integrates Eye Tracking Tech

Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

Last week, we reported that Verizon would offer users the ability to opt out of the company’s mobile ad-targeting program, which tags customers with unique codes to track online activity. The move followed complaints from privacy advocates regarding the use of the alphanumerical customer codes known as “supercookies.” Now, three Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation are calling for a formal investigation into Verizon’s tracking practices of its wireless subscribers. Continue reading Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

Verizon Users Will Be Able to Opt Out of Mobile-Ad Targeting

Verizon users concerned with their online privacy will soon have the ability to opt out of the company’s mobile ad-targeting program, which tags customers with “supercookies” — or undetected code that can be used to track a consumer’s online activity. Verizon’s recent announcement to allow customers to remove themselves from being targeted or tagged with code follows a number of complaints from privacy advocates in regards to the company’s tracking practices and privacy standards.  Continue reading Verizon Users Will Be Able to Opt Out of Mobile-Ad Targeting

Google Plans to Release Modular Mobile Phone in Puerto Rico

Google wants to redefine the way mobile devices are designed, built and sold. The Ara Smartphone, expected to release later this year in Puerto Rico, is a unique mobile device with replaceable components. Owners of the Ara will have the option to purchase additional hardware from a store, to enhance and upgrade their mobile devices rather than having to buy an entirely new phone every couple of years. A growing number of developers are reportedly working on a wide range of Ara modules. Continue reading Google Plans to Release Modular Mobile Phone in Puerto Rico

Startups Are Paying Consumers for Permission to Track Data

Instead of tracking consumers’ personal data without their consent, a few companies are beginning to experiement with a new model of paying people directly for permission to track activity on their social media accounts and their credit cards. Datacoup, for example, pays consumers $8 a month for access to their personal data. For $100 a month, participants in ZQ Intelligence’s program agree to be tracked on their devices and answer questions about their consumer behavior. Continue reading Startups Are Paying Consumers for Permission to Track Data

Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Google Fit, a health data aggregation service, is expected to launch at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco next week. The service will compete with Apple’s new HealthKit app framework, which launched last week. It will also compete with Samsung’s Sami, a similar biometric data platform. Google Fit aims to store data from wearable activity tracking devices — including Fitbit, Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand — along with the related smartphone apps.

Continue reading Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

NSA Turns to Web Images for Facial Recognition Programs

According to top-secret 2011 documents released by Edward Snowden, the NSA is collecting online images of people for its facial recognition programs. As estimated in the documents, the agency intercepts about 55,000 images that have facial-recognition quality. Civil liberties advocates are concerned that these technologies could result in an invasion of privacy. However, neither privacy nor surveillance laws protect against the government’s use of facial images. Continue reading NSA Turns to Web Images for Facial Recognition Programs

FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission released a report urging Congress to require data brokers to be more transparent. Data brokers collect information on nearly all U.S consumers, typically without their knowledge, and create profiles based on online purchases, public records, and online tracking cookies. The FTC recommends creating one Internet site where each company explains their purpose and method of data collection and gives consumers a chance to opt out. Continue reading FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

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