Based on a review of top magazines in the United States, response/use of QR codes in magazines seems to be somewhat higher than response rates to direct mail. Some of that is convenience, to be sure. More likely, it’s the novelty of the QR code being there, and the ability to experiment with the new toy. Certainly, the selection of the magazine and the product being offered may also be a factor, although one would hope that the direct mail piece is better targeted than the space ad!
GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. More frightening is the number of media executives who decide what we’ll see and hear: 232. That is about one-half the number of members of Congress, who themselves don’t have the authority to decide what we see and hear. Ultimately, that is impacted, but not set, by the nine people on the Supreme Court. Thank you, Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson and Company.
And of course that’s an over-simplification. Fortunately, we have a vibrant and active, although often ignorant and biased, free press across a number of media, especially online. There are multiples of media outlets for information and opinion. Compared to the colonial period, or even the late 19th century, the power of choice of the media consumer has never been stronger. Recalling our early media consumption in the ’50′s and ’60′s, we had 3 networks and maybe a local radio station or two, and whatever local or regional newspaper covered local political issues. How many news outlets do we have on the internet alone?
The biggest weakness is probably the slow loss of local newspaper coverage in non-metropolitan areas. Local TV stations are struggling to keep up coverage, but even they are challenged in markets where ad revenues continue to deteriorate. And somehow Huffington Post and equivalents don’t seem to be interested in my local School Board’s proposal of a 15% increase in the budget this year.
This is a somewhat chilling prediction of the probable impact on e-commerce of the implementation of the EU requirement that websites must get visitors to “OPT-IN” to cookies being put on your machines.
Yes, Virginia, Europe has gone bonkers.
They now require us to “log-in” and say “yes” to activate the simplest of navigation tools on a moderately sophisticated website. The doctrinaire-istas of Euro-law created a “principle and human right” that you have a right to control your “personal information”, and this could mean what you look at in a website, or where you wander. And this is so incredibly critical and important, as an absolute non-negotiable principle, that the website has no legal right to do this without your express permission. Even if you invented the cookie itself, or graduated cum laude in computer science from MIT, or have your own website which flashes “I CONSENT TO COOKIES” endlessly, you now have the burden of consenting when you browse.
To experience the pleasure-killing impact of “opt-in to cookies”, visit the UK Information Commissioner’s website at http://www.ico.gov.uk/. Try to navigate around without accepting cookies. Try to understand the variety of cookies being used. Try to figure out why they insist on telling you this.
On the other hand, since the cost of parcel shipping from the US to Europe is about the same as within Europe, and since US prices are much lower for most products than in Europe, someone in the US Department of Commerce or some express company like maybe FedEx or DHL should launch a “BUY From US Websites” campaign.
“Come enjoy US e-commerce websites!! Still a delight to navigate! Filled with excellent bargains! We won’t waste your time with nonsense about cookies, which you know about anyway, but our sites will tell you about them if you insist. AND BY THE WAY, most of our sites have guarantees of satisfaction.”
A couple of tips on how to protect yourself if you fulfill orders abroad. A request for “expedited shipping” may be a fraud indicator. Take your time and make sure the credit card charge clears. Oh, and an order for 12 size 5 women’s speed racing bathing suits for delivery in Nigeria should give you pause.
pVery worth reading. UK DMA asks a half dozen companies what compliance will cost them. Very, very frightening. a href=”http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/03/15/dma-unveils-potential-financial-impact-draft-eu-data-protection-regulation-companies”http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/03/15/dma-unveils-potential-financial-impact-draft-eu-data-protection-regulation-companies/a/p
One of the resources data protection professionals would be wise to visit from time-to-time is the Speechly Bircham Data Protection Law Update page. A recent piece titled “The CNIL and the New EU DP Regulation Proposal: “Je t’aime…moi non plus” hit my funny bone and gave me a sense of relief that it wasn’t just the “overly business-oriented Americans” who found the proposed regulation pretty much over the top. a href=”http://info.speechlys.com/ve/MjC93JLGv94qV2/VT=0/page=70″http://info.speechlys.com/ve/MjC93JLGv94qV2/VT=0/page=70/a
/pp But, unlike business, CNIL is concerned about article 51, which would lodge jurisdiction over a multi-country enterprise in the country in which the data controller or processor has its main establishment. Business would like this as it would avoid conflicting directions and orders from different data commissioners.
/pp France doesn’t like the idea because, says the CNIL, it would reduce the national data regulators’ role to that of a “mailbox” and consumers would have less, not more, protection. My favorite argument is their second one – that this would lead to companies “forum shopping” to locate their headquarters, which will “inevitably” have negative impacts on the citizens and on the French economy.
/pp Two laughable conclusions are implied in that position. One, that the severity of the regulatory regime for data protection could be the deciding factor in locating a company headquarters, and two, that France has such stringent data protection rules and enforcement and that foreign businesses will shun it on those grounds. In fact, there are many, many good and sufficient reasons to avoid France as an investment destination. Chief among them are the employment protections, the working rules, and the bureaucracy. On many, many grounds France has made itself an unwelcome destination for foreign investment, but data protection is not one of them. In fact, CNIL is one of the most balanced of enforcement agencies. Its guidance and enforcement techniques are clear and consistent and its personnel approachable and professional.
/pp If any country should be avoided as an investment destination on data protection grounds, my nomination goes to Spain and its Star Chamber data protection authority and legal rules. You are held guilty with no trial, fined enormous amounts of money with no apparent logic, and can not appeal from this lynching until you pay the fine! And I’m not at all sure that the draft Regulation solves that particular problem. Second least favorite destination could be Italy, but they have recently discovered the original text of the Directive and acknowledged there is something called the “balance of interests” test which can justify a controller’s use of personal data. And the words “opt out” were also rediscovered.
/pp But, “le tout France” has gathered in force to fend off Brussels. CNIL’s position is now confirmed by the Ministry of Justice, Parliament, and the Senate. This is going to be a very interesting, rocky road ahead. /p
The use of addresses as “legal proof of residence”, when institutionalized in governmental systems by well-meaning public officials can have unfortunate effects. They can range from annoyance to the loss of important civil rights. This woman might have suffered police detention as a result of this erroneously issued notice, all by virtue of a bureaucratic system relying on a postal change of address form for other pubic functions.
The other consequence is that she has the time and economic burden of correcting the government’s misreliance on the postal address system, which was never designed for civic identity purposes.
At any interface of old and new technologies and habits, there are anomalies and puzzling things. Those trapped in the old are doomed to trip in the new version. Much, even most, of the habits we formed in the analogue world do not transfer to the digital world. This has become clear to me as a result of two recent experiences involving the mobile phone.
The first involved, of all institutions, the American Automobile Association. This is an institution to which I am very loyal, its towing service being a godsend many times over our years of driving elderly cars prone to sudden refusals to operate, usually at a fair distance from home and hearth. In all the membership literature they have sent me recently, there have been banners of “helpful hints” informing me that in the event of an emergency on the road I could easily reach the AAA by dialing “1-800-AAA- HELP” on my mobile phone. The same information is on the membership wallet card.
Now, take out your mobile phone and tell me what numbers to dial….I’ll wait….You’ll note that dialing this “number” will now be a challenge. Your little number keys don’t have letters, do they? Maybe you’ve memorized the location of the letters. Perhaps the very popular i-Phone still has letters on the keys. In the case of an emergency, I hope for your sake that’s so. Obviously, this is a case of the marketing and/or design departments having folks who are on auto-pilot with respect to “old copy”, which they just carry over from version-to-version. But maybe some young person will take a fresh look, whip out their mobile, and discover that members may be out there unable to reach them.
The second instance involved something I would classify as “digital self-talk”, where an institution uses in public the language of the “interior”. This is the corporate or professional dialect or vocabulary. Every profession has a technical vocabulary which is meaningless to the rest of us.
My mobile phone provider has a useful facility which enables me to forward calls to another phone. Since my residence is out of mobile phone signal territory, this is a great convenience. However, when I forward my calls to my home office, I get the strangest confirmation message: Registration of Cal Forwarding. Unconditional returned success. And when I cancel the call forwarding, the message is not much more enlightening: Deactivation of Call Forwarding. Unconditional returned success. Why is something “unconditional”? This sounds somehow very permanent and irreversible. Why not just “Call Forwarding On” and “Call Forwarding Off”?
Getting used to the new technology and all its impacts in daily life is hard enough; please don’t force me to learn yet another language.
UK DMA commissioned research on consumer preferences regarding receiving advertising to their mobile phones. Surveys were done in the UK, Germany and France as to a preference to receiving offers by SMA or through mobile web. Marked preference for SMS in all three countries, with the French most in favor of SMS. However, the experts interviewed for the piece have some cautions worth reading.
And not just Switzerland, but Germany, Austria, and, I suspect, a tradition soon to be revived further to the East. If the United States were older, with more ancient buildings, this would be a good “dead tradition” to import. In Japan, master carpenters become, literally, revered National Treasures. In the United States, there are few incentives for “craftsmen”; so much of the ‘trades’ involve putting things together that others have made in factories. There are undoubtedly important learned skills in doing that, which don’t seem to lead upward, or receive the respect they deserve.