Advertisers Hate This Texas Privacy Proposal

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The Texas Privacy Protection Act (HB 4390) was introduced last month, and it would require opt-in consent from consumers before companies could use their data for targeted ads. Advertisers aren’t happy.

Without the ability to effectively advertise online due to opt-in consent barriers, revenues will be impacted and companies that rely on such revenue may no longer be able to support free and low cost content and services that Texans desire, such as online newspapers, social networking sites, mobile applications, email, and phone services,” the ad industry writes in a letter sent last week.

The groups add that the constant requests for consent will frustrate consumers and also “desensitize” them, which will reduce “their sense of control over their privacy.”

New Leica Ad Celebrates Photojournalism

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Leica is a well-known camera brand, and today it released a five minute ad that celebrates photojournalism. Called ‘The Hunt’ it shows all of the stress, fear, drive, and life-threatening situations photojournalists face as they tell their stories. It was created by Brazilian agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. We see scenes of an oppressive regime in China, an African warlord, conflict in the Middle East, and more. Although the photographers in the ad aren’t real, they do represent conditions that can happen in the real world.

Cars With Dashboard Screens are the Next Frontier for Ads

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Paywalled article from the Wall Street Journal. If advertisers could beam ads directly into our brains so there was zero chance of escaping them, they would absolutely do it. We don’t have that capability yet, so meanwhile dashboard screens in your car are the next frontier.

On future screens, local restaurants, doctors’ offices and other services could target ads based on typical driving routes. An insurance company could offer lower rates for cautious drivers, while car makers could use system data to offer service on an aging part before it blows. Some envision a world where users could start watching a TV show at home, then with a voice command continue watching the same program in the car. Others are working on allowing users to order and pay for gasoline and coffee on their screens.

Apple's Latest Privacy Ad is Relatable to Everyone

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Writing for ZDNet, Chris Matyszczyk thinks Apple’s latest privacy ad is a joke. He was expecting a serious message about privacy and thinks the video was too superficial.

We’re offered scenes from everyday life, in which people assert their need not to have their conversations overheard, yet they’re played for comedy. There are times when you need to lock strangers — or teachers or even members of your family — out of your personal life.

In my opinion, that’s exactly why I think the ad was great. Most non-tech people don’t want or don’t understand conversations about encryption, open-source, VPNs, etc. Non-tech people are still using Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram despite the awful things Facebook does. Non-tech people are who Apple makes products for.

That Ominous Figure in the Corner of Your Digital Living Room is Mark Zuckerberg

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Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be your “digital living room” where you can privately share your thoughts, messages, and photos of your kids that the company will use for advertising purposes. Which was a topic left out of his essay on his new “privacy-focused vision.”

I understand that many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform — because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.

Like Apple News, Privacy is a Feature of Apple Podcasts

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It’s hard for publishers and individuals to make money via Apple’s platforms like News and Podcasts. Jason Snell’s argument seems to be that competitors like Spotify might do better than Apple because advertisers can’t collect user statistics from Podcasts. It’s a conundrum, because I think you can have both good privacy and good advertising. But Apple is never going to give up privacy in favor of deeper advertising. Hopefully there can be a happy medium.

Maybe it’s all for the best. There aren’t too many examples of enormous tech companies opting not to take advantage of their dominance in a market. Perhaps Apple’s light touch on the world of podcasting will continue, at least until a competitor does something to get its attention.

Apple News Has Problems But Privacy Isn't One of Them

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Hot takes abound in the wake of a report from DigiDay about how publishers are frustrated with Apple News. One of the cited issues is a lack of user targeting, which is great for users. One problem I see with Apple News is that the rumored News subscription might reward clickbait. But privacy is a big reason why I use Apple News. I can put up with ads, but the less time I spend on publishers’ websites infested with trackers, popups and autoplaying videos, the better. I have my favorite sites I subscribe to, but I do it through Apple News so the companies can’t sell my credit card information.

And while publishers remain frustrated with Apple News as a source of revenue, some said they appreciate where Apple is coming from. “I respect Apple and that they believe in privacy,” one source said. “It just makes it incredibly challenging to sell there.”

Hey You, Stop Buying Microsoft Office 2019

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In a weird new commercial Microsoft pit Office 365 against Office 2019 in an obvious ploy to sell more subscriptions.

Unsurprisingly, in the new ads, which give the actors twins various challenges to perform in the likes of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 beats Office 2019 every time. Yawn. The ads aren’t very good and you will cringe a few times…

Hint: You can directly buy Office 365 in the new Mac apps.

Hulu Pause Ads Have Arrived

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Hulu Pause Ads have arrived, but they will be still images instead of a video ad. They will launch in the second quarter of 2019.

Mark Zuckerberg's Op-Ed is Tone Deaf

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Mark Zuckerberg has written an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, and it’s as tone deaf as ever.

Sometimes this means people assume we do things that we don’t do. For example, we don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do. In fact, selling people’s information to advertisers would be counter to our business interests, because it would reduce the unique value of our service to advertisers. We have a strong incentive to protect people’s information from being accessed by anyone else.

Any service that relies on ad money means the advertiser is the customer. I’d love to hear from an advertiser that would refuse access to peoples’ personal information. Facebook may not sell that data directly to advertisers but you can bet it sells access to the data. Two different words that point to the same destination.

Make Room for Color in This New iPhone XR Ad

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In the latest iPhone XR ad people are parkouring around a city, wearing what looks like prison uniforms. Each uniform is in a color representing the iPhone XR: black, white, coral, blue, red, and yellow. The tagline is ‘Make room for color’ and briefly promotes the iPhone XR’s Liquid Retina display. The song in the video is “Come Along” by Cosmo Sheldrake. Check it out below.