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May 2018
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Tech Talk # 4: SDKs Are the Key to In-app Viewability

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Adotas is pleased to continue a series of Tech Talks that offer insights and explanations regarding the sometimes mysterious meaning and use of various digital tools. Your guide is Stephen Upstone, CEO ofLoopMe. When marketing technology goes mobile, it's acronyms galore. One example is SDK - or Software Development Kit. How does this piece of […]The post Tech Talk # 4: SDKs Are the Key to In-app Viewability appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:02am on 10-May-2018
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AnalyticsIQ Amplifies Audience Reach Through Strategic Integration with Eyeota

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Partnership activatesAnalyticsIQ’s Symphony Consumer Personas, providing marketers rich audience lifestyle profiles through the Eyeota Data Marketplace. Eyeota, a leader in audience data, partners with AnalyticsIQ, a predictive analytics and consumer marketing innovator, to onboard and activate AnalyticsIQ’s Symphony Consumer Personas in the digital ecosystem, creating rich audience lifestyle profiles that are exclusively available through the […]The post AnalyticsIQ Amplifies Audience Reach Through Strategic Integration with Eyeota appeared first on Adotas.

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Q&A with Justin Kennedy on GDPR from a Publisher's Perspective

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Adotas is pleased to present a Q&A with Justin Kennedy (pictured left), COO atSonobi   Q: In a nutshell, what is coming when GDPR comes into effect next month and how will it impact the industry? A:When GDPR is put into effect next onMay 25, users will have the ability to provide or revoke consent […]The post Q&A with Justin Kennedy on GDPR from a Publisher’s Perspective appeared first on Adotas.

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Gaming Industry And Game Consumers On A Collision Course Over Loot Boxes

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If you're a gamer, you know all about loot boxes. We haven't covered them or the associated controversy here, as both are slightly outside of the usual topics we cover. But we do in fact cover digital marketplaces and how companies and industries react to market forces and it's becoming more clear that the gaming industry and the gaming public are on something of a collision course over loot boxes.As a primer, a loot box is a digital randomized thing, typically purchased in-game and resulting in a random reward of in-game content. Some content is more valuable than others, leading to some referring to loot boxes as a form of gambling, particularly when some of the game content can provide benefits to players in multiplayer settings. Overwatch popularized loot boxes somewhat in 2016, although mobile games have used some flavor of this kind of monetization for pretty much ever. The gaming public never really liked this concept, with many arguing that it breaks in-game competition by giving players willing to pay for loot boxes an advantage. But the loot box fervor hit its pique after the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, with EA being forced to massively alter how its loot boxes worked in game. Since then, loot boxes are a topic of consumer backlash as a general rule.Making it somewhat strange, therefore, that the gaming industry seems to want to embrace loot boxes as its dominant business model.

With all the controversy, scrutiny, and international regulation randomized video game loot boxes are facing these days, you might think the practice of charging players for a chance at unknown in-game items might be set for a precipitous decline. On the contrary, though, one analyst sees spending on loot boxes increasing by over 62 percent in the next four years to become a $47 billion piece of the industry. By then, loot boxes will represent over 29 percent of all spending on digital games, the analyst said, up from just under 25 percent currently.In a newly published forecast of the global game market, Juniper Research concedes that developers are "effectively encouraging a form of in-game gambling" with loot boxes and using that addictive potential to "extend both the lifecycle and engagement of games titles to their audience." These kinds of non-traditional money-making techniques are a practical necessity for developers squeezed by increasing costs and stagnant or declining up-front game prices, Juniper says.
Whatever your opinion of loot boxes, it should be clear that there is trouble on the horizon. Individual opinions will vary, but it seems clear that the majority of gamers are strongly against loot boxes, and that majority is very, very loud. Put another way, the vocal reaction to loot boxes is almost universally negative, with barely anyone at all praising their use in games. The market is sending the gaming industry a very clear message and the industry has apparently decided to place an awful lot of poker chips in dismissing that message.Even governments are getting in on the backlash, actually, for a variety of reasons. Some seek to protect consumers from blatant attempts to extract more revenue from them by gamemakers, while others want loot boxes regulated as a form of gambling.Yet the gaming industry is so all-in on this that Juniper thinks both the public and governments will allow loot boxes to exist merely because gamemakers are making so much money off of them right now.
"Whilst some restrictions may be put in place by government and regulatory bodies, the practice is unlikely to be banned outright simply due to the effect it would have on the games industry as a whole," Juniper writes in a recent white paper on the subject. And while platforms like Steam have recently cracked down on third-party "skin gambling" sites, Juniper argues they've resisted calls to ban skin trading altogether for the simple reason that they make too much money from their five-percent transaction fee.
That all works at the governmental level, where regulatory capture is indeed a thing and monied interests likely will indeed sway politicians, but the market forces in the public are another matter. Already the public has thought of loot boxes as generally abusive of the industry. Free to play mobile games are one thing, but the moment EA tried this in a paid-for console game, the shit hit the fan.Loot boxes aren't the only business model available to the gaming industry, but they are fairly unique in how disliked they are. If the gaming industry doesn't correct course soon, we could easily see a slowdown in an industry otherwise primed for massive growth.

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posted at: 12:02am on 10-May-2018
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Not Ready For Prime Time: UK Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Software Producing Tons Of False Positives

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Law enforcement agencies have embraced facial recognition. And contractors have returned the embrace, offering up a variety of "solutions" that are long on promise, but short on accuracy. That hasn't stopped the mutual attraction, as government agencies are apparently willing to sacrifice people's lives and freedom during these extended beta tests.

The latest example of widespread failure comes from the UK, where the government's embrace of surveillance equipment far exceeds that of the United States. Matt Burgess of Wired obtained documents detailing the South Wales Police's deployment of automated facial recognition software. What's shown in the FOI docs should worry everyone who isn't part of UK law enforcement. (It should worry law enforcement as well, but strangely does not seem to bother them.)

During the UEFA Champions League Final week in Wales last June, when the facial recognition cameras were used for the first time, there were 2,470 alerts of possible matches from the automated system. Of these 2,297 turned out to be false positives and 173 were correctly identified – 92 per cent of matches were incorrect.

That's the most gaudy number returned in response to the records request. But the other numbers -- even though they contain smaller sample sets -- are just as terrible. The following table comes from the South Wales Police FOI response [PDF]:

In all but three cases, the number of false positives outnumbered positive hits. (And in one of those cases, it was a 0-0 tie.) The police blame the 2,300 false positives on garbage intake.

A spokesperson for the force blamed the low quality of images in its database and the fact that it was the first time the system had been used.

The company behind the tech insists this is an end user problem.

The company behind the facial recognition system, NEC, told ZDNet last year that large watchlists lead to a high number of false positives.

And it illustrates this with a highly-questionable analogy.

"We don't notice it, we don't see millions of people in one shot ... but how many times have people walked down the street following somebody that they thought was somebody they knew, only to find it isn't that person?" NEC Europe head of Global Face Recognition Solutions Chris de Silva told ZDNet in October.

I think most people who see someone they think they know might wave or say "Hi," but only the weirdest will follow them around attempting to determine if they are who they think they are. Even if everyone's a proto-stalker like NEC's front man seems to think, the worst that could happen is an awkward (and short) conversation. The worst case scenario for false positives triggered by law enforcement software is some time in jail and an arrest record. The personal stake for citizens wrongly identified is not even comparable using de Silva's analogy.

If large watchlists are the problem, UK law enforcement is actively seeking to make it worse. Wired reports the South Wales Police are looking forward to adding the Police National Database (19 million images) to its watchlist, along with others like drivers license data stores.

No matter what the real issue is here, the South Wales Police believe there are no adverse effects to rolling out facial recognition tech that's wrong far more often than it's right. It states it has yet to perform a false arrest based on bogus hits, but its privacy assessment shows it's not all that concerned about the people swept up by poorly-performing software.

South Wales Police, in its privacy assessment of the technology, says it is a "significant advantage" that no "co-operation" is required from a person.

Sure, it's an "advantage," but one that solely serves law enforcement. It allows them to gather garbage images and run them against watchlists while hoping the false hits won't result in the violation of an innocent person's rights. But that's all they have: hope. The tech isn't ready for deployment. But it has been deployed and UK citizens are the beta testing group.

So, it will come as an unpleasant non-surprise that Axon (Taser's body cam spinoff) is looking to add facial recognition tech to cameras officers are supposed to deploy only in certain circumstances. This addition will repurpose them into always-on surveillance devices, gathering up faces with the same efficiency as their automated license plate readers. False positives will continue to be a problem and deployment will scale far faster than tech advancements.

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