According to Adage, major cellphone carriers are selling customer data, including location, as well as "mobile web surfing, text messaging and phone calls" information to marketing companies. While Telcos are keeping a tight lip on this new form of revenue in fear of customers' reaction, the estimated $24 billion in revenue "outweigh the possible tangles with government regulators, consumer advocates and even squeamish board members."
The service also combines data from telcos with other information, telling businesses whether shoppers are checking out competitor prices on their phones or just emailing friends. It can tell them the age ranges and genders of people who visited a store location between 10 a.m. and noon, and link location and demographic data with shoppers' web browsing history. Retailers might use the information to arrange store displays to appeal to certain customer segments at different times of the day, or to help determine where to open new locations.
"It used to be that this data was a lot harder to come by," said Ross Shanken, CEO of LeadID, a lead generation analytics firm. In a previous position at data firm TargusInfo 2008 and 2010 he nonetheless partnered with "a very large telco" to validate names, addresses and phone numbers for data appending.
|“A tool for fooling facial recognition software.”|
|Advertising Cookies Let You Easily Be Tracked All Over the Web|
|Apple Will No Longer Unlock iPhones for the Police|
|"It's Amazon's consumer tracking with an Orwellian political twist.'"|
|How ProPublica Figured Out the Unnamed Telecommunication Company Helping the NSA was AT&T|
|“It’s taking orders for a real-life flying motorcycle powered by five modified jet engines.”|
|“By day, she visits morgues, observes autopsies, and studies pictures of crime scenes.”|
|What Nothing Really Means in Seinfeld|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Featuring over 2,000 flags in motion to Ludwig van Beethoven.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Without ads, how does Netflix manage to make money?”|
|“How easy it is for anyone who tracks our digital activities to gain insight into our personalities.”|
|“A chain of endlessly recommended YouTube videos made by strangers motivated by advertising dollars.”|