Internet companies have run amok with our personal data, and people aren’t entirely sure what to do about it, judging from the results of a new survey.
More than 90 percent of Americans feel they’ve lost control over how their personal information is collected and used by companies, particularly for advertising purposes, according to the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center, published Wednesday.
Eighty percent expressed concern over how third parties like advertisers accessed the data they share on social media sites. Pew did not gather the names of which sites specifically respondents meant, but you could likely venture a guess.
The survey, which polled 607 adults online, was the Washington, D.C.-based think tank’s first in a series to tackle Americans’ views toward privacy after the leaks around government surveillance made by Edward Snowden last year.
The majority of respondents did indeed say that people should be concerned about whether the government is listening in on their phone calls, or viewing their online communications and other sensitive data.
But beyond government surveillance, the findings also reflect people’s attitudes amid the increasing sophistication by which Internet companies leverage people’s data for advertising.
“It’s a bundle of concerns,” said Lee Rainie, one of Pew’s lead researchers on the project, in an interview. “It’s partly surveillance, it’s partly tracking, and this generalized sense that I’m losing control of my identity and my data,” he said.
The constant flood of stories related to data breaches, whether it’s at Target, Snapchat, or P.F. Chang’s, don’t help either.
But voicing concern about the level of access companies, governments and other groups have to data is one thing; taking action in response is another.
Some respondents said they have taken actions to protect their privacy, like using a pseudonym, but a majority of respondents agreed that achieving anonymity online is not possible.
People’s concerns around privacy might be part of the trade-off in using a free service. Some 55 percent of respondents said they were willing to share “some information about myself with companies in order to use online services for free.”
If you think your Facebook feed has a lot of video now, just wait.
“In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday during the company’s first community town hall, in which he took questions from the public on a range of topics.
He was responding to a question about whether the growing number of photos uploaded to Facebook is putting a drag on its infrastructure. But Facebook’s data centers have it covered, he said. The real challenge is improving the infrastructure to allow for more rich media like video in people’s feeds.
Zuckerberg took questions from a group of users who were invited to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and people also submitted questions online.
One of the most popular online question was why Facebook forced users to download its Messenger app for mobile.
The 30-year-old acknowledged not everyone was thrilled with the change.
“Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask,” he said. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split it off from its own app.
“We really believe this is a better experience,” Zuckerberg said.
One user in the audience asked him if Facebook is losing its charm or becoming boring.
The question of Facebook losing its “cool” gets raised from time to time, Zuckerberg said, but “my goal was never to make Facebook cool,” he said. Instead, he wants it to be a helpful service that just works.
Another asked why he always seems wear the same t-shirts and hoodies. Zuckerberg said he wants to spend as much time as possible on things that matter, like how to build products, even if it means thinking less about what he wears.
Mobile media users are more likely than nonusers to give higher credibility rankings to national newspapers and most other mainstream news media (see charts 9.8 and 9.9), according to the latest mobile media news consumption survey from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). They also tend to place greater importance on getting news every day and on the source of news (see charts 9.19 and 9.20).
Women also were found to be more likely than men to give most mainstream news media higher credibility rankings (see charts 9.7 and 9.6), and to want news every day and value the source of news (see charts 9.18 and 9.17).
Participants in the 18-34 age group gave national newspapers the highest credibility ranking (see chart 9.3), but placed a lower importance on getting the news every day and on the source of news than participants in the older age groups. They also indicated that they were somewhat less inclined to prefer news stories produced and selected by professional journalists (see chart 9.14).
Survey participants who did not use mobile media or subscribe to newspapers were the least likely to disagree with the statement: “News is news; it doesn’t matter to me who produced it” (see charts 9.20 and 9.23).
Social media networks — Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. — were considered less credible than mainstream news sources by a majority of participants (see chart 9.2), even among those who said they read news found on social media (see chart 9.10).
Given the much higher average credibility rankings for mainstream news sources — often referenced by users of social media — the less credible ranking probably relates more to the individual comments made by social media users and the embedded links to alternative news sources, such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
Analyze this: Salesforce.com is challenging Tableau Software, Oracle and others for a piece of the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar data analytics software market.
Salesforce.com plans to launch its first major data analytics software service on Monday. The enterprise software company intends to compete with rivals that already offer software to help companies analyze large amounts of data through easy-to-read charts and graphs.
A pioneer in software-as-a-service delivered via the Internet cloud, Salesforce.com is the No. 1 maker of customer relationship management (CRM) software, which helps companies deal with customers and partners. CRM is a key segment of the business software market, but Salesforce is moving into other areas to boost revenue.
Its latest move is another step in becoming a one-stop shop for all of a company’s business software needs, says Anna Rosenman, director of Salesforce.com’s analytics cloud.
“This is one of the biggest announcements we have made in years,” Rosenman told IBD. “We are entering an entirely new market.”
Salesforce has, on a small scale, already offered some data analytics software. The new service, called Wave, will help companies pull a wide swath of data from a variety of sources so it can be chopped up and best used by a company, Rosenman says.
And now, for their next reader-engagement trick, publishers are taking a few lessons from your PlayStation.
The world of video games is coming to the news. While publishers are used to telling stories in text and, recently, in video, some are looking to add a dose of interactivity to their news in an effort to attract more readers and keep them around longer.
Last week, Al Jazeera launched “Pirate Fishing,” an online game that puts players in the role of a journalist as he investigates an illegal fishing trade. Players, who start as “junior researchers” get points by watching videos and filing clips in their notebooks, helping them earn “senior reporter” positions and ” specialist badges.” The game was based of an Al Jazeera video series originally published in 2012.
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook built itself into the No. 2 digital advertising platform in the world by analyzing the vast amount of data it had on each of its 1.3 billion users to sell individually targeted ads on its social network.
Now it is going to take those targeted ads to the rest of the Internet, mounting its most direct challenge yet to Google, the leader in digital advertising with nearly one-third of the global market.
On Monday, Facebook will roll out a rebuilt ad platform, called Atlas, that will allow marketers to tap its detailed knowledge of its users to direct ads to those people on thousands of other websites and mobile apps.
“We are bringing all of the people-based marketing functions that marketers are used to doing on Facebook and allowing them to do that across the web,” David Jakubowski, the company’s head of advertising technology, said in an interview.
Montreal-based 5by plans to introduce its own messaging product next week, with one key difference from those aforementioned apps: Its new platform lies at the nexus between messaging and Web video.
“People do not want to broadcast everything on Facebook; they just want to easily send things to people they care about,” 5by CEO Greg Isenberg told Digiday. “We leverage this behavior to make it easier for people to find, share and discuss videos.”
Spurred by increased infrastructural investments, improved connectivity and affordability, positive government interventions, and the spread of mobility, the African digital media landscape is rapidly evolving, according to global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its ‘Assessment and Outlook of the Digital Media Ecosystem in Africa’ report, IDC today said the future remains bright for the continent, although key challenges such as low propensity to pay for applications and content as well as lack of ubiquitous high speed broadband infrastructure continue to hamper progress and will take a while to resolve.
“The digital picture in Africa is changing rapidly,” says Leonard Kore, a research analyst for telecommunications and media at IDC East Africa. “Internet penetration is on the rise, buoyed by increased infrastructure investments, while the landing of undersea fiber-optic cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world has greatly reduced transmission time and costs while increasing bandwidth capacity. Although only an estimated 19% of the continent’s 1 billion population is online, this situation is expected to improve as investments in infrastructure continue to gain momentum; this includes 2G and 3G network infrastructure expansion and fiber to the x (FTTx).”
Mobile usage has had a transformative impact in Africa. Other key factors include the high digital appetite for social media and the impending digital migration, while other sectors such as ecommerce have had a tough time gaining traction. The digital disruption has significantly changed consumer behavior, and service usage patterns have altered as a result, with consumers now seeking devices with intuitive interfaces, content-rich applications, and faster connectivity capabilities as they spend more time online.
Mail Online, Metro and the Mirror all now attract more readers to their websites from mobiles than they do from personal computers.
New evidence of the shift from desktop to mobile news readership is provided in the latest figures from the National Readership Survey, which include mobile for the first time.
The data suggests Mail Online’s mobile raedership in the UK stands at 10.8m per month, versus 9.6m on personal computers. The NRS claims that the Mirror now attracts 6.2m readers a month on mobile devices, versus 4.9m on PCs, and Metro 3.6m on mobile versus 2.9m on PCs.
The NRS data combines print readership for the year to June 2014 with Comscore website data for June 2014. Both web and print numbers are based on a survey of the general public, rather than actual circulation or information from server logs.
The figures suggest that The Guardian and the Telegraph are neck and neck in terms of UK readership with both achieving a monthly reach of 16.3m. The term ‘reach’ equates to the number of people reading the paper or the website at least once.
The NRS suggests that the Daily Mail/Mail Online is the most read national newspaper brand in the UK with a monthly reach of 23.4m. According to the Mail, this means it now reaches 48.3 per cent of UK adults every month.