Monday, February 18, 2019

Digital OG — February 18, 2019

Facebook's culture continues to dominate; experts comment on the executive order for A.I.; Volvo's subscription service is under fire; winning the hearts and minds of consumers; the importance of building trust; what the store of the future should be like; a new Twitter tool will create citizen video journalists; Netflix may lose subscribers over its price hike; podcasting deserves a larger share of advertising; the absence of leaked Equifax data is terrifying; Uber's latest numbers are in; a breakthrough in GDPR-compliant data analytics; improve yourself by reading old books; and more in the Digital OG edition of The Full Monty for the week of February 18, 2019.

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Top Story
Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
Retail Apocalypse
Privacy / Security / Regulatory
Measurement / Analytics / Data
Mental Nourishment


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Top Story

Well, what do you know? It's Facebook back in the news, and not for a good reason. It's a continuation of the Cambridge Analytica / government questioning story line, and in this case, the U.K. Parliament and its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The Committee said that Facebook representatives "deliberately misled" them or were not properly briefed themselves. Either way, it amounts to obfuscation by Facebook. Hey, add that to complexification from last week!

In fact, they went even further, stating in no uncertain terms that they considered Facebook to be skirting along the criminal world: “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law.” They also called for Facebook to be investigated by the U.K.'s data watchdog.

This is a particularly sensitive time, as Facebook is also negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission for a multibillion dollar record fine.

Even if we can forgive Facebook's decisions in the years leading up to the election and chalk it up as lack of foresight or a result of a lack of coordination internally, it's getting more difficult to overlook the transgressions above. The leadership has been given ample opportunities to come clean, and at every turn, they're guided by their moral compass, which is expressed through a series of delays, denials, and deflections.

Even as Mark Zuckerberg continually expressed his idealistic desire to make the world a more connected place, the constant hunger for data and profits drove the company forward, ethics be damned.

Peter Drucker once said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. Facebook's culture continues to cast a shadow over its strategy. Or perhaps it's a perfect reflection of it.

“And those that deceive upon hope of not being observed do commonly deceive themselves, the darkness in which they believe they lie hidden being nothing else but their own blindness and are no wiser than children that think all hid by hiding their eyes.” 
– Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

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About this week's image:
Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursue Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon shows a dead man lying sprawled across the foreground while blood seeps into the ground from a wound in his neck. His murderer flees with the victim's belongings in his arms. Above, Divine Vengeance, illuminating the way with a torch, and Justice, armed with sword and scales, pursue the criminal. Prud'hon made this study for a monumental painting destined to hang behind the judges' bench in the criminal courtroom of the Palace of Justice in Paris. 

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
  • A detailed study by McKinsey suggests that Europe is falling behind China and the U.S. in artificial intelligence, while its digital gap continues to widen. (McKinsey)
  • President Trump created an executive order on America’s A.I. policy. The national strategy was released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and includes five key goals: redirect funding, create resources for researchers, establish standards, retrain workers, and engage internationally. Four experts weighed in on the policy. (IEEE Spectrum)
  • Microsoft's A.I. pipeline goes from research to reality. It’s not enough to have brilliant researchers and a bunch of popular products. You’ve got to have a system–or several systems–for melding raw technology into experiences that make a difference for businesses and consumers. (Fast Company)
 AI for Marketers
Be sure to download a copy of Christopher Penn's AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer (Second Edition). You'll find the kinds of questions you should be asking vendors, five practical applications of AI for marketing, what it will take for you to succeed on your journey, and more. 

Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
  • Volvo's new car subscription service is meeting with some opposition: California auto dealers, who call it an illegal marketing scheme. (The Verge) I know, big surprise. Car dealers are resistant to change.
  • Self-driving car company Aurora has raised more than $530 million, on a valuation of $2.5 billion. (Reuters) The autonomous market continues to get more crowded, with payoffs years (or perhaps decades) away. Is there a surefire bet on any one of them? Stay tuned.
  • Meanwhile, robot delivery startup Nuro raised $940 million from Softbank. Nuro is one of the few companies operating entirely driverless vehicles on the road. (The Verge)

Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.

Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ

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Retail Apocalypse

Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 

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News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.
Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ


The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.

  • IAC Chairman Barry Diller, the former CEO of Paramount and Fox, talks about the diminished power of movie studios and why “Netflix has won this game.” (Recode)
  • After the latest price increase 27 percent of Netflix users say they could cancel, and many would welcome a cheaper, ad-supported version of Netflix. (Streaming Observer) Netflix needs to be careful, as they walk a fine line here. With so many streaming options now, they stand a very real chance of losing subscribers if they increase prices too much or too frequently. Fickle vewers can get their streaming content elsewhere just as easily. Another reason why Netflix's own programming needs to be superior.
  • TiVo's Video Trends Report found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of adults in North America use their televisions to watch TV shows, while close to half (45 percent) use their TVs to watch live sports. And one-third (33 percent) of teens use it to watch YouTube. (Marketing Charts)

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Privacy / Security / Regulatory

Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
  • “We are caught between two extremes: a weak regulatory system in the United States that refuses to so much as investigate the Equifax breach and a fine-based scheme in Europe that is so harsh that regulators will never be able to impose the maximum allowable penalties. Neither of these systems comes close to striking the right balance of financial penalties mixed with corrective security measures. And until they do, companies will continue to escape serious consequences for their breaches." Why It's So Hard to Punish Companies for Data Breaches (Medium | The New York Times)
  • Now 17 months after the Equifax data breach, none of the personal information of the 143 million customers has made its way to the web. Investigators suspect that a nation-state is behind the breach, for spying purposes. (CNBC)
  • A look at the six tenets of data privacy in connected vehicles for OEMs, data providers, service providers, and consumers, according to otonomo. (via Lisa Joy Rosner)
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends GDPR-like privacy laws in the United States to give people more control over their data. (Engadget) Facebook is now 15 years old. It's time for users to have more (or at least clear) control over their data.
Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ


Measurement / Analytics / Data

The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.


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    Mental Nourishment

    Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.
    “If you join at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight, you will often not see the real bearing of what is said.” 
    — C.S. Lewis (tweet this) 

    Top image creditJustice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1806 (Getty Museum)


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