Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Data Security and You: There’s Got to Be a Better Way

A non-rant rant on data security.

By Mary Ludloff

Have you ever had one of those days when you throw up your hands and simply say, “There’s got to be a better way!” Well, this is one of those days. Recently, Jenn Webb, in an O’Reilly Radar piece, asked the following:

“How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?”

Webb was talking about Google’s 2-step verification process (I remembered reading about this a couple of months ago) which essentially “jumps” the user through a number of “hoops” to ensure more secure access to Google applications. I ended my comment on the article with the following: “Google, could you have made this any more difficult for people operating in the real world to use?” And once I clicked Submit, I thought I was done. Nope. The more I thought about this, the more I felt a rant coming on. I mean, really, how hard is it for companies like Google (and many others) to come up with a user-friendly way to ensure secure access? They certainly have the money to do it and by all accounts, they definitely have the engineering talent to do it. So what’s the problem? (more…)

April 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm 1 comment The Beginning of a Consumer-Centric Data Monetization & Privacy Model?

A way for the big data industry to share the wealth with consumers and expand control over privacy.

By Terence Craig

There was a great article posted in All Things Digital about a company called While the article focused on the viral nature and the security implications of their launch (which says troubling things about consumer security awareness or lack thereof), the bigger story (IMHO) is the company’s business model. is developing a solution that centralizes control of a user’s digital identity, creating a peer-to-peer relationship between the consumer and brands. So instead of consumers “liking” a company’s Facebook page, they could have a deeper and, potentially, more meaningful relationship. In the video embedded in the article, one of’s founders, Drummond Reed, likens this to a CRM solution for the consumer where a trust relationship between the consumer and each vendor is established and based on this relationship, the consumer decides how much personal information is shared.

As someone who is writing a book about data privacy and is CTO of an analytics tools vendor, I have been wondering when technology would be introduced that would let consumers control their personal information and treat it as a valuable asset. (more…)

March 24, 2011 at 11:57 am 1 comment

Data Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Ebook Coming Soon!

Privacy and Big DataHow the players, regulators, and stakeholders are changing the privacy landscape.

By Terence Craig

As Mary mentioned in the previous post, we have a big announcement to make: we are co-authoring a series of Ebooks for O’Reilly. The first in the series will focus on the data privacy landscape as it is today, including:

  • The technological innovations driving big data and analytics, and how those innovations are forcing us to reexamine and often re-invent our ideas around data ownership, privacy and security.
  • The rise of data collectors, aggregators, and marketplaces, their methods of capturing and monetizing data about you, and how that impacts your privacy.
  • How the worldwide regulatory and legal landscape is evolving as governments try to balance the security and convenience benefits of these technologies against their potential for abuse.
  • Why the music industry and other large copyright holders have become leading figures in the battle against consumer privacy.
  • How governments use and abuse their citizens’ digital data.

People often ask why we spend so much time writing about digital privacy issues. First, as a company that is on the forefront of creating sophisticated tools to analyze digital data, we are acutely aware of the powerful technologies and techniques we—and companies in our industry—are developing.  And as I wrote here, we think a lot about what we can do to ensure that our tools and expertise are used in ways that are ethical and positive.  Helping our customers and the public be proactive about privacy issues is one of the best ways to do that. (more…)

March 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm 15 comments

Data Privacy Regulation Roundup for February and Facebook’s FTC Response

By Mary Ludloff

You may sometimes wonder why we spend so much time on data privacy for a company in the big data and analytics business. Well, as I said in a past post , we should all be concerned about the privacy of our data—industries, companies, and consumers alike. This is also self serving because anyone in the big data business is dependent on individuals’ and corporations’ willingness to input and share their data digitally.  Without this commitment, ad-driven sites (like Google) and analytics platform providers (like PatternBuilders) have no reason to exist.  For us, this means keeping abreast of regulatory actions to better understand how companies may, wittingly or otherwise, find themselves on the wrong side of the privacy fence. So, on with the regulatory roundup!

Now for those of you interested in following data privacy regulation issues, I highly recommend subscribing to the Information Law Group’s blog and following them on twitter (@InfoLawGroup). In a recent blog post, they cover several announcements made by enforcement agencies and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority): (more…)

March 9, 2011 at 11:07 am 1 comment

Taking Social Media Analytics To The Next Level

By Terence Craig


One of our original design goals at PatternBuilders was to make the aggregation of data sources a simple and ongoing process.

We have recently become very interested in analytics that look at social media data, primarily because the streaming nature of social media makes it ideal for our streaming analytics engine. This seems to have been overlooked by most of the existing solutions in the space—this is probably due to the fact that the sheer amount of data and the opportunity to aggregate it with other large streaming data sources, such as POS, sell-through, and sell-in is very hard to do. (more…)

February 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm 9 comments

Your Expectation of Privacy: Think Before You Share

By Mary Ludloff

I am often surprised (okay, taken aback) by what I find out about someone on the Internet. It seems to me that most people have an expectation of privacy that simply does not exist. I know, I know, you have privacy settings that you use for your various accounts—but have you googled yourself lately?

Case in point. My nephew graduated from college recently and he asked me for some help regarding his job search. I think that he expected me to edit his resume, help with cover letters, and run him through some standard interview questions. Which I did. (more…)

February 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm 1 comment

Data Privacy Roundup: From Self-Policing to Regulation and Litigation

Part 3 in an ongoing series on data privacy.

By Mary Ludloff

Many pundits in this space have predicted that 2011 will be the year of data privacy. Certainly, there have been a flurry of posts and articles on the state of privacy over the past few months and if you’re like me, you’ve watched the Internet community have an impact on how companies are behaving. For example:

  • Goldman Sachs pulled its Facebook shares to U.S. clients due to intense media scrutiny on the deal that made the SEC sit up and pay a bit more attention. For an entertaining, yet sobering, take on the original Facebook offering, check out Robert Cringely’s “50 billion reasons why Facebook is not worth $50 billion.”
  • Facebook removes developer access to user addresses and phone numbers. Yes, as reported in ReadWriteWeb, Facebook announced on its developer blog that it would make users’ addresses and mobile phones numbers accessible as part of its User Graph object. There was just one small problem: it was far too easy for Facebook users to allow access to this information without realizing it. After a couple of days of Internet fuming (really and as far as I am concerned, this is a good thing), Facebook wisely decided to take that access away.


January 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm 1 comment

TMI: Your Privacy, Data, and the Internet

By Mary Ludloff

Personally, I don’t have a Facebook page. I do have a Twitter handle, but I never use it. When I comment on an article or blog post, I am very careful about what I say (you never know when something you “type” in the heat of the moment can come back to bite you and my rule also applies to Voicemail and Email but I digress). Of course, when it comes to my friends and family and “me,” I leave it up to them. However, I do ask them not to use my last name in posts, photo captions, etc. And they seem to honor my request.

Now, professionally, I can be found on LinkedIn (last name and all), on corporate management team pages, listed as a PR contact, and as a commenter and blog poster. If you google or bing me, you will discover that I was once a co-author of an SQL book and you will be able to find out a few other details about me that I do not like the world at large knowing. However, considering how much you could know about me, I consider myself lucky. (more…)

January 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm 4 comments

Big Data, Big Insights, Big Issues, and Facebook: Part 2

By Mary Ludloff

Before I get started on part 2, I need to come clean about something (and I should have done this is Part 1 but the post was just getting far too long). Okay, here goes: I do not yet have a Facebook page.

Yes, horrors! And really, how does one justify not having a Facebook page when one is in marketing? Before you start to snicker, I do have a LinkedIn page and even a Twitter handle. I simply prefer to keep my social media activities, associations, whatever you want to call it, on the professional side. And please note the “yet” with regards to Facebook. Most likely, some day in the near future I will have a Facebook page as well. But it will, as you most likely have guessed, be very similar to my LinkedIn page. (more…)

January 7, 2011 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

Big Data, Big Insights, Big Issues, and Facebook: Part 1

By Mary Ludloff

As everyone probably already knows (but just in case you have been living off the grid for an extended period of time), Facebook is considered to be the largest aggregator of private individuals’ data in the world. In fact, they don’t just index the “habits” and personal information of each Facebook user, but at an aggregate level the habits and personal information of entire communities.

Everyone—the PatternBuilders’ team, analysts, social scientists, economists, statisticians, the list goes on—would like to get their “hands” on that data to aggregate it and cross-reference it with other data sets to produce unknown insights about “all of us.” And Facebook has been pretty miserly about sharing. Facebook has also been under fire about its seemingly cavalier attitude about users’ privacy, touting that transparency and openness is the way to go. (more…)

January 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

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