Opinion

Wearable Technology: The Prophecy of Marty McFly and Dick Tracy

By Todd B. Ruback, CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPP/IT

Little did I realize when I watched Back to the Future II all those years ago that it would be a prophetic movie. Do you remember the scene where Marty McFly puts on his self-lacing shoes?  He just slipped his feet into the shoes and they laced themselves up. Believe it or not, I hear that 2015 will be the year that “power laces” hit the market. Wearable technology, anticipated way back in 1980 by none other than Marty McFly, is here and its about to get even more interesting. You may also remember that “wearables” were touted long before Marty McFly by none other than the Dick Tracy! He had the very first smartwatch that doubled as a walkie-talkie. Tracy, like McFly, was way ahead of his time because smartwatches are now here, and they are very cool.

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Opinion

The Big Issues for the Retail Industry and Mobile Device Tracking

By Todd B. Ruback, CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPP/IT

Mobile device tracking is a big deal in the retail world, a very big deal. So big that it can transform the retail industry. Which is why last week I attended the FTC’s Mobile Device Tracking Seminar to learn more.

Here’s the big picture.

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Privacy Engineering

Brick-and-Mortar Transparency: Are Phone Alerts the Best Notification for Collecting Consumer Data?

Note from the Editor:

This is the fourth in a series of posts by Westerman exploring the role of trust in the marketplace. Here are the first, second and third. Future posts will discuss research that shows what things people do value when they’re shopping, and how technology can support those things. Additionally, the IAPP will host the web conference Bricks-and-Mortar Is Back—Emerging Privacy Issues in Retail Settings in the U.S. on Thursday, October 31.

New technology allows retailers to collect data—such as location, contacts, apps installed—from their customers’ phones. But when we surveyed consumers, only 33 percent of them realized this might be happening. On the other hand, when we surveyed consumers about stores collecting only their location, this number increased to 50 percent. We know from previous research that, when people are not aware of data being collected and don’t expect it to happen—and then find out about it later—trust can be eroded. How, then, can businesses create transparency around data collection?

Opinion

Privacy in Context

By J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP

The New York Times ran a story yesterday that describes the arrival of our “contextualized” existence—brought forth by predictive search apps that understand the context of your life and provide reminders, information and services based on what you are doing, where you are and what you might need next. Products like Google Now, Evernote and Cue are said to “know what you want, before you do.” In a front-page, above-the-fold story, the Times highlighted the fact that privacy remains, yet again, a central concern as we move towards this digital future.

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Opinion

Regulating Technology or Behaviour?

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E

An absolute certainty on which everybody seems to agree is that legislating takes longer than programming.

This is not just a bland statement based on guesswork and half-baked common sense. According to a comprehensive survey of app developers carried out in 2013, the average timeframe for developing a mobile app is 18 weeks. That is less than five months. But the interesting fact about that timeframe is that when the survey was published, there was a bit of an uproar amongst developers, who quickly pointed out that creating an app did not really need to take that long. On top of that, since the beginning of the 21st century, new methods of software development—such as the highly successful Agile approach—have enabled even more dynamic and evolutionary ways of developing new technologies.

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