Digital Signage Privacy

July 23, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I wrote the CBS opinion piece.
I came across this blog today and am glad for the opportunity to comment on the post above.

First, Dave is making my point for me when he lists the numerous ways marketers and media outlets already profile individual consumers.
Just as it occurs in those contexts, I am arguing that it is likely to happen with digital signage, because it will be profitable to do so when the technology becomes more cost-effective.
The fact that there are countless methods with which companies track individuals is not a compelling reason to add another method through digital signage.

Second, I am well aware that Trumedia, Quividi and Cognovision have published privacy policies.
Although I think their policies are incomplete, I went out of my way to commend their actions in my opinion piece.
As I said, however, not all companies using this technology have privacy policies published at this time, and here is an example.

Third, Ken, my work is accurate at the time that it is written.
I understand the problem posed by digital signage audience measurement and I am realistic about the fact that individual identification is currently rare.
I challenge you to find an instance in which, as you put it, I did not let the facts get in my way.

Lastly, I agree that the Minority Report reference is somewhat cliche.
However, I mention the movie because I must write for people who are not familiar with digital signage, and the famous advertising scenes are the clearest illustration yet of what we should avoid when it comes to the future of this medium.
I would also point out that references to Minority Report are not made only in the advocacy community, but by the digital signage industry as well.

Here are two additional blog posts I wrote about digital signage:
This is the first post.
This is the second post.
I will write more as the issue develops further.

Thank you.

Harley Geiger
Staff Counsel
Center for Democracy & Technology

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