clip_image002Corporate data breaches and security incidents pose a growing threat to businesses around the world. Such events are increasingly common, with companies and organizations from Google to Sony to the Stanford University Hospital falling prey to data breaches, news of which was subsequently splashed across national headlines.

Incidents like these, combined with the increasing number of ways to track what people are doing online, are affecting consumer attitudes. Edelman’s new global study, Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action Global Insights 2012, reveals that seven in ten people globally are more concerned about data security and privacy than they were five years ago, and a full 68% believe that consumers have lost control over how online personal information is shared and used by companies.

Businesses, however, are not doing enough to meet these concerns. A majority of people (57%) report either no change or a decline in the security of their personal information in the last five years. This is problematic, because consumers think that businesses should be grappling with these issues and that it is their responsibility to do so. The vast majority (85%) say businesses must take data security and privacy more seriously, and a plurality say businesses – as opposed to governments or individuals – are responsible for protecting the security of their personal information.

Edelman’s study also indicates that data security and privacy issues have the potential to affect a businesses’ bottom line. Customers are taking data security and privacy into account at the checkout counter; surprisingly, when it comes to smartphones, personal computers and tablet computers, data security and privacy are as important to them as a product’s design, style and size.

Businesses are also suffering from a trust deficit due to peoples’ concerns about data security and privacy, particularly in the financial and retail sectors. While 92% of people say security is important to them in when doing business with the financial sectors, just 69% trust the industry to protect their personal information – trust lags by 23 points. In online retail, the gap is even more dramatic. While security is important to 84% of those doing business with online retailers, just 33% trust them to protect personal information – a 51 point gap.

To earn people’s trust in their ability to protect data security and privacy, businesses must manage these issues like a core competency, engaging with them in a meaningful way on a daily basis. Businesses that ignore data security and privacy do so at their own peril, because consumers will abandon companies they do not trust to protect their personal information. Those that prove willing and able to manage data security and privacy effectively, however, will bring unexpected value to consumers around the world by demonstrating that they understand the importance of protecting the information people hold most valuable.

Read the full study here. We’re keen to hear your thoughts…

@pete_pedersen

The ancient Mayans are often accredited for their ability to investigate celestial objects in the night sky with primitive tools. Archaeologists have found tablets, which provide evidence of their ability to accurately predict positions of objects, lunar and solar eclipses, often many years ahead.

However much of what the ancient Mayans were practicing bear remarkable similarities to what we now refer to as ‘big data analysis’.

In 2008, the McKinsey Group described the trend towards big data – the technology and practice of handling unconventionally large datasets which, after years of experimentation, has recently seen rising prominence. 

One of the earliest adopters of big data analysis is that of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN. As a matter of fact, the internet was invented as a method to collaborate and handle the vast amounts of data generated at the facility. Yet what started off as technology for scientific investigations, big data analysis soon quickly found itself in areas such as finance and banking.

Today’s organisations are beginning to recognise that by analysing petabyte upon petabyte of data, meaningful insights and predictions can be accurately made. Yet over 1,700 years ago, Mayans were already analysing data from the observable universe – an unstructured database with 93 billion years’ worth of data.

The Mayan’s obsession of analysing astronomical ‘data’ was not centred around scientific investigation, but more on predictions and justifying rituals. The decision to engage in military conflict was based almost entirely on the movements of Venus and Jupiter.

Interestingly, the modern day practice of analysing big data suggest that we could be following similar movement.

Today big data analysis is being used to help justify macro-social and economic decisions – from investments, economic policy to crime directives and healthcare provision.

Earlier this year, analyst firm IDC even reported that the US Army has implemented a big data cloud program to collect data from unmanned aerial vehicles, to gather intelligence information in near-real time and relay it back to its troops stationed in Afghanistan.

The life of the ancient Mayans revolved around their religion, which they supported through their obsession with astronomical data. This influenced their culture, their every decision and provided what they believed were predictions for the future.

Are we creating a technology-led religion of our own through our obsession with big data and what legacy will we be remembered for when future archaeologists discover our civilisation?

@thelondonblog

santa ipadThe hotly anticipated 2011 Christmas shopping season saw a rush of retailers for clambering to offer better door-buster and free shipping deals than the next. So, as a nation of consumers, did we live up to our end of the bargain?  John Lewis Group and Next are among the retailers to have already published their data. With numbers still expected from others – for high street and online – it may be another week until we have a full picture of economic data that will make a concise story. In the meantime, eConsultancy ran a nice round-up of Christmas 2011 ecommerce stats published thus far. Of interest:

· Online sales in December were up 30% year-on-year, and the last week before Christmas saw almost double the sales compared with last year, according to stats from MetaPack

· 640,000 tablets were given as gifts to adults, with the iPad dominating the market with 72% of sales

· 4.2m iOS devices were activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

· Christmas Day was the busiest day of the year for mobile clicks, with volumes 36% higher than the early month peak on 11 December 2011 and 50% higher than the average for December

Now here is an interesting stat:

· Boxing Day 2011 was the biggest ever day for online retail in the UK, according to Experian Hitwise, and represents a 19.5% increase from last year.

This is a measure of visits, not sales, however. Consider another stat to come out last week – More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products that purchasing them – 80.8% compared to 41.4% – it will be interesting to see how the e-commerce sales numbers stack up for Boxing Day and whether all this traffic converted into sales, or disappointed shoppers perusing the clearance sales with a Turkey hangover. My money is on the stuffing.

@jacqui_fleming

Hello strangers!  Or Hello familiar people that we talk to a lot in the real world but who also happen to read our blog occasionally.

Are you well?  We’re very sorry that DERTy Talk has been absent for so long.  We’re almost entirely sure you hadn’t noticed our absence, but nevertheless we. are. back.  Sort of.

There’s been a lot on of late.  Presidential visits, a footballer on the front pages, ash clouds.  Aside to all this real news, May may well go down in memory as the month we’d care to forget, which is why we didn’t bother recording it on DERTy Talk.  Adding insult to injury Mother Nature doesn’t seem to have got the memo about Bank Holidays being sunny this time round.  Tis a pity.

Anywayz.  Next week is JUNE and we will resume the ordinary, regular service of DERTy Talk.  For now we just wanted to share some actual talking from some splendid people who participated in our #SocialEnt event yesterday.  Thanks again to Gail, Jon, Matthew, Simon and Emma for taking part and for leading what was a very lively and informative discussion.  It was the highlight of the week, it’s true.

Enjoy their wisdom shared in the videos below.  Should you have missed all our other content from the event you can find it here.

Lets talk DERTy

Another week, another round of DERTy Talk, a day later but who’s counting.

So what has been happening in the Digital Entertainment, Rights and Technology space this week? Well…

Digital Entertainment

clip_image002Dirty Derty

If any of you have stumbled across this week’s edition of DERTy talk and are somewhat disappointed by the lack of actual dirt, then this one might be for you. And if you are just interested in regular digital entertainment this might be one of interest too. This week has seen the release of the world’s first 3D porn film. The film apparently cost £2m to make and has caused Chinese fans to flock to Hong Kong in the hope of seeing the uncut version. The first of many eye popping films? Who knows, as long as it doesn’t become 4D…

Cats own the interwebclip_image003?

Worried about how many people currently follow you on Twitter? Perhaps a lowly cat could help, or perhaps just add some amusement to your day. According to a recent list compiled by Shortlist, the animal with the most amount of followers is @sockington (not an Edelman client), with 1,482,735 followers. Sockington is owned by tech-historian Jason Scott. The domestic cat turned twitter legend was originally found as a stray but has since received fame on Twitter and has even had a spread in People Magazine. Others on the list include the Bronx Zoo Cobra which we featured last week and an array of animals ranging from ducks to parrots.

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Pirates on the high seas of Web Connected TV

YouTube’s senior director of content partnerships for EMEA has said that an increase in web connected TV’s will not result in “random ads running across the screen” and a lack of quality control. Piracy has been identified as the biggest threat as more people will be tempted to watch pirated material. BBC.com and global iPlayer MD Luke Bradley-Jones has said that video is the single most exciting area in terms of traction with 50-100% growth in use of video across BBC worldwide per month.

Rights

Do you know your data rights?

We wrote ages ago about the new dicdataship and how Data Brokers and the profit being made from digital data. This is a lovely infomercial video explaining how data brokers gather personal information and how they are using your information – whether you know it or not. Brought to you by the organisation Reputation.com – its thought provoking stuff.

 

 

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A working group headed by Ed Vaizey has suggested creating a body that will resemble website watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), however this has been slammed by digital rights campaigners, the Open Rights Group. In part the group has been proposed to find an alternative to website blocking, compromised ISPs and rights holders. Currently there are problems with clauses within the Digital Economy Act around how web site blocking would occur and who would be held responsible if illegal content were downloaded on free public Wi-Fi. The full article is published here and it is set to be an issue that will run and run. After all currently if your website gets blocked there is no one to complain to.

Technologies

Minority Shopping Report

A very impressive customer service/ technology initiative from the clever people at 3 (though almost certainly an April Fool). Basically Minority Report meets online shopping WITH customer service. In terms of how businesses offer content, software and technology as a service – this is an interesting hypothesis of how customer support *might* look in the future, practical joke or not.

Watch it here – http://vimeo.com/21968394

Tweets from the team

@LukeMackay: I might go to Legoland California JUST to see thesehttp://bzfd.it/g0fvA3 #starwars

@GLeney: All I want to do is check the weather! #bbcwebsiteisdown

@AJGriffiths: V nicely done video from Desperados RT @becksr: Wow – this is very cool. http://bit.ly/dJW7cf

@LukeMackay: The Governator. Utterly inspired RT @_mip_ Arnold#Schwarzenegger launches The Governator at #MIPTVhttp://bit.ly/hsluJ8

@AJGriffiths: The @FT refuses to give up subscriber data to Apple. A fair stake in the groundhttp://on.mash.to/h6vfvL

Data vis As information technology has grown, so has the impact of data on our lives. I’m calling this the new dicdataship. As data performs an increasingly important role in business, so too will it impact the work of the PR.

A few bits of data that have caught my eye in the last week or so:

  • The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story this week about the new industry that has emerged from the bulging data market (did I mention I’m in Sydney…). Data is valuable, so people are selling it. This is, I’m sure you’ll agree, a little bit unnerving. I’m sure most consumers would be upset to find out that their online habits are being tracked, and even more so that someone else is benefitting financially. Increasingly I’m sure we will be working with clients who either want to reassure customers that they are not selling their data, or indeed if they are selling it – that they are doing so responsibly. 
  • Wired is one of the historic champions of data, as is Guardian Technology whose Free Our Data campaign has been running for years. There is an awful lot of public data that isn’t public. Imagine what your commute would be like if TFL shared their data in real time, so you could avoid the trouble hotspots?
  • The Orange Group team at Edelman has spent the last few weeks working with Orange on the launch of their Orange Mobile Targeting Monitor and Exposure 2010 research. This tool will help advertisers better plan mobile marketing campaigns as the data gives real insight into current mobile behaviours. Check the microsite for more info.
  • We work with Last.fm who has a heritage in open APIs and data access. This awesome visualisation was recently developed to illustrate a listener’s daily musical habits.

So why have I suddenly got the data shakes? Well three fold:

  • The first two stories show that this is a pressing consumer issue. It may not be fully mainstream yet, but Joe Public will become increasingly concerned about what is done with his personal data. We have a responsibility to encourage the companies we work with to behave as transparently and responsibly as possible. 
  • The Orange Exposure research shows how advertisers and brands can use data to create more relevant conversations with consumers. As PRs we should also be looking at how data can inform the campaigns we build.
  • The Last.fm story shows how much fun can be had from data. Whether an infographic, a nifty visualisation, or a game. There’s a lot of potential both for creative, and informative builds.

If I look around at my PR peers, most of us come from an arts background. We studied literature, philosophy or history; we realised we were pretty good with words but journalists don’t get paid very well; we fell into PR. Erudite prose, charm and wit have got us thus far. I for one am rubbish with numbers. I suspect as our industry evolves alongside the rising dominance of data that it might be necessary for us to get a few more mathematicians in the room.

@LukeMackay

The UK’s information commissioner confirmed reports yesterday of the loss of millions of customer records containing sensitive data.

This incident, one of an increasing list of digital faux pas, will no doubt be quickly overshadowed by other more pressing and global concerns and a ‘this is an industry problem’ statement which it clearly is. It does, however raise serious, if little voiced issues of trust and responsibility among telco.

Every day millions of consumers share sensitive – even intimate – details with one another via their ‘phones and other wireless devices. As I write this, Clive Woodward is connected on his laptop in the same train carriage (that note might make for interesting reading) and, whilst the interception and use of information is illegal in this country it clearly happens and the laws don’t provide for custodial sentences to help deter it.

So who’s responsible?

Customers are willingly provide ‘status’ updates through applications installed on their ‘phones either at the point of purchase or thereafter. In order to secure a contract they have to divulge potentially sensitive personal and billing information that they trust will be treated with respect and secured.

Trust in mobile operators is, in part, based on the belief that the calls, texts, pictures and other media like Facebook and Twitter updates are despatched and arrive safely. They and their hardware partners build walled gardens (Apple is notorious for this) to protect ‘the integrity of the network’ seeking to ensure that only the most appropriate applications and information are consumed. There is some merit in this – imagine for example, having to download weekly virus updates to your mobile.

How can we overcome this?
Perhaps introducing another contract variable – network security – providing, for example, a sliding scale of customer fees based on the level of security they deem necessary, effectively penalising organisations for any breaches, might underline the seriousness of this issue (not limited to mobile operators but extending far beyond) and effect the necessary changes in behaviour.

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