S ilent Beacons, Serious Privacy and Self-Serve Snapchat

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Nick Cotton May 5, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the links for the full story.

Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing ‘Beacons’ You Can’t Hear
  • “In the most inconspicuous hustle of all, apps have increasingly incorporated ultrasonic tones to track consumers. They ask permission to access your smartphone microphone, then listen for inaudible “beacons” that emanate from retail stores, advertisements, and even websites.”
  • “Since you can’t stop beacons from emitting these frequencies around you, the best option is to reduce the chance that your smartphone can listen for them and feed data to a third party.”
  • “Separately, researchers have also developed a beacon-blocking Chrome extension and sample Android patch in an attempt to give consumers defense tools, and raise awareness of how operating system/browser developers could build protective features.”
When companies get hacked, they take their privacy a lot more seriously than yours
By David Lazarus From LA Times
  • “It’s a problem faced by consumers nationwide. A business gets hacked and customers are then treated like children, given only the sketchiest details so as not to bruise the delicate feelings of the hacked business.”
  • “When it comes to security breaches, Californians enjoy some of the toughest notification rules in the country, aimed at bringing greater transparency to such incidents. But that doesn’t always translate into openness.”
  • “Many companies might assume they face only a $2,500 overall risk in keeping quiet because no company ever has been slapped with a fine of $2,500 per individual. That could produce a staggering penalty.”
Snapchat launches self-serve ad manager
By Josh Constine From TechCrunch
  • “Snap Inc. wants the ad dollars of smaller businesses, not just giant brands. So today it’s launching its new self-serve ad manager for buying video Snap Ads.”
  • “Until now, you could only buy Snap Ads through Snap’s sales team or third-party ad tools built on the Ads API that often charge a fee. The self-serve ad manager will be free with no mark-up.”
  • “…any business, big or small, that wants to reach teens, might need to get up to speed.”

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