March 3, 2017

Tracking Behavior Keeps Getting Easier

FCC Discards Expanded Broadband Privacy Rules

TechCrunch

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has discarded a set of privacy rules that would have blocked broadband providers from using information about their customers’ viewing habits without consent. The regulations would have required internet service providers to meet more stringent security standards regarding their customers’ personal information.  No need for that.

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Broadband Provider Altice USA Purchases Addressable Advertising Vendor Audience Partners

Business Wire

Here's a crazy coincidence: one day after the FCC gave cable operators easier access to customer data, cable operator Altice announced its acquisition of Audience Partners, which uses audience data to target TV and online advertising at individuals. Altice is the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S., with most customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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Ortus Labs Lets Any Network-Connected Video Camera Track People or Objects in Motion

Ortus Labs

Enough about privacy. Dallas-based Ortus Labs has released software that lets any network-connected video camera “identify, differentiate and track people, vehicles, or objects in motion.” The breakthrough is using artificial intelligence software instead of expensive image-processing hardware, thereby reducing the cost and expanding the number of potential feeds.. It’s not clear whether the system can identify individuals or just distinguish people from objects. Then again, it’s trainable, so the answer might change in the future.  Nope, no privacy issues here..

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