Nusbacher Associates

So here’s an interesting result from a survey about smartphone geolocation… People turn it off for social media, but leave it on for navigation. So they’re concerned about tracking socially, but disregard tracking data collection generally in favour of convenience. Hmmm.

Put this together with last month’s uproar about in-store tracking of shoppers (and those UK garbage cans tracking pedestrians and what have you got? An educational opportunity.

If you want to track people then you’re going to have to explain why, and provide an opt-out. This is what today’s citizen expects – at least in places like America, Canada, England, and Germany where privacy is a moral right. Seems to be the old “commons” idea playing with new “cyber” issues like digital privacy.

Thus, people will probably go along with public projects that benefit them as part of the general public e.g. tracking data collected for a study to eliminate bottlenecks, as one major subway system did recently. You’ll be on thinner ground with using public areas for tracking goals like targeted advertising, whereas on private property people seem to understand that it’s your property so it’s your prerogative. But clandestine tracking gets right up people’s noses every time, regardless of the type of space in which it occurs or the reason.

So the trick here seems to be that if you want people’s data, it helps to say please. Technology and itrs trends are changing our lives, but manners are always in style.

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