Nov 10 – 16

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This week’s headline story: Following Shoppers around the Store

shoppersTracking consumers online for the purpose of delivering targeted ads is old news. Chances are you are aware that it’s going on and have already formed your own opinions about it. Now it’s time to consider physical tracking. How do you feel about your physical movements being tracked and recorded? You are probably aware of the growing number of cameras being installed in public places for security purposes. In addition to those cameras, businesses are now using your smartphone to track your movements around their stores. Through a number of technologies, a business is able to identify the location of your phone within the store and monitor your path and how long your spend in each location. A business may also record the MAC address of your phone so that it can recognize you when you return and continue building its record of your physical behavior.

Businesses use this information in order to make decisions on where to place merchandise and other interior features such as escalators, and personnel. It is likely that the technology will take the next step, and begin communicating with shoppers directly. For example, if a shopper selects a winter jacket, he or she might receive a text message offering a special deal on matching gloves. The technology could be combined with online tracking to offer unique deals the next time you logon to a stores website. For example, if you spent a long time shopping in the appliances department, but never purchased anything, guess what kind of ads you’ll be seeing online?

One could easily imaging this technology crossing the privacy line. A marketing company that works for several stores could use this technology to track your movements around town. Local and federal law enforcement might be able to do the same. So, now that you’re used to being tracked online, where do you stand on physical tracking?

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Netflix, YouTube Consume Half of Internet Traffic [NewsFactor]
    We’ve sensed that a lot of people are streaming movies online rather than watching them on TV. Well, now it’s proven. The recently released “Global Internet Phenomena Report 2013” has determined that Netflix and YouTube now account for 50 percent of Internet traffic.
  • Shocker: Women outnumber men in this year’s tech hires [InfoWorld]
    There has been great concern over the lack of women in IT and computing positions, and many efforts to attract women to these career paths. A recent report suggests that those efforts may be paying off! In the past 10 years, the percentage of women filling what the government calls “computer systems design and related services” has hovered around 30.8 percent. However, during the first nine months of 2013, out of a total of 39,000 such jobs that were created, a jaw-dropping 60 percent were snatched up by women!

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Online Banking Malware Rapidly Rising [NewsFactor]
    Trend Micro’s 3rd Quarter Security Roundup Report has identified an ongoing proliferation of Apple iOS phishing sites, as well as a sizable uptick in online banking malware. The company warns consumers to be uber-cautious when shopping and banking online this holiday season, as it expects cybercriminals to be more active than ever before.
  • Guilty Plea in Miss Teen USA Hacking Case [NewsFactor]
    A nineteen year old computer science student has pleaded guilty to three counts of extortion and one count of unauthorized computer access for hacking the computers of Miss Teen USA and other young women, threatening to post nude photos of them unless they gave into his demands. Abrahams faces up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million when he’s sentenced in March.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Report: Google’s Calif. Barge To Hoist Sails [NewsFactor]
    More information has been released about the barges that Google has anchored off the shores of San Francisco and Portland. Google plans to place masts and huge sails on the vessels creating what Google calls floating artistic structures that are sure to “stand out.” The structures will serve as “interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”
  • Android Crushing Smartphone Market with 81% Share [NewsFactor]
    According to market research firm IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android accounted for 81 percent of all smartphone shipments in the 3rd quarter of 2013, its highest-ever market share.
  • It’s Music to Google Glass Users’ Ears [NewsFactor]
    Google Glass will soon be released to consumers, and Google says that they will come with the ability to stream music from Google Play. Google says that headphones will allow Google Glass users to enjoy their favorite music and also interact with other Google services via voice and audio.

and finally…

  • Microsoft Revamps Job Evaluations in Quest for Innovation [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft corporation is known for a long standing, dog-eat-dog practice of employee review that it calls “stack ranking.” In this practice, employees in a department are ranked in order from most productive to least productive with the bottom employees being automatically fired. Microsoft has realized that the practice does not foster a collaborative environment and is doing away with the practice, in favor of a new system that it hopes will encourage more innovation among its employees.

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