Digital Marketing News Update – EU ICO Cookie Update, BestBuy Cloud Music and Hacking


ICO cookies update

As the ICO took the lead in implementing the new guidance by asking permission before setting cookies, it has now revealed a significant drop in its analytics tracking. The decrease was revealed through an FOI (Freedom Of Information) request made to the ICO about the effects of its new policy, which is forming the basis of its guidelines to the rest of the UK.

I fact the ICO website analytics saw a 90% drop in traffic tracked through its site. Given that for most of us our analytics data provides us with invaluable insight into our user behaviour, this could be extremely worrying and begs the question again if anyone has really thought this process through.

Needless to say the ICO is coming under some fire following the recent announcement yet its still continuing to issue guidance notes to other organisations. If they can’t implement the new guidelines without seeing a serious detrimental effect on their data then there’s little hope for the rest of us.

Digital blogging site Chinwag has heralded the news as “a portent of doom for anyone that relies on multiple cookies for tracking, customer service, analytics, advertising. Oh, wait, that’s everyone?” Made me chuckle and while I’m not usually one for the dramatics (honest) it certainly doesn’t look good.

Having said that, we should all be glad we don’t live in Denmark! Their parliament has decided that it’s not enough to simply ask permission, sites now have to prove that the cookie was accepted. This seems a little unreasonable and gives an already convoluted process an extra layer of complexity for both the user and the company to overcome. Not exactly conducive to a pleasant browsing experience!

Despite all of this, and perhaps my faith is misplaced, but I’m convinced that with the level of knowledge and skills we have in the industry that a better solution isn’t too far out of reach. One things for sure though, spending our time purely bemoaning the situation isn’t going to get us there. Yes its crappy, yes it’s problematic, but how about we shake it off and start coming up with some ideas that are actually workable.

If you want to see the ICO analytics data for yourself, Chinwag has published the raw data on their site.

Editor: This is great news! Proves that its a stupid and badly thought out idea that does little to help with privacy and will cause huge financial damage. Off to interview the IAB about it in the next few weeks….

Best Buy launch new cloud music service

While the war rages on for top spot in the cloud based music services, it’s refreshing to see a lesser mortal step up to the plate with an offering that one can only assume is meant as a comedic gesture.

Harsh? With it’s core function providing the user with the ability to play only 30 seconds of their own tracks, Best Buy’s new music cloud is certainly coming across as the poor relation.

While it has soft launched a lite version with the promise of more to come, I can’t see that the service offers anything the others don’t and in a much better way.

The installation is full of bugs, playlists are restricted and only playing 30 seconds of each song seems a little ludicrous especially considering we’re talking about music the user already owns.

According to Best Buy’s Brian Joseph, the other features more than make up for the shortcomings, complimenting the fact that the service displays the album artwork and lyrics. Hmm not convinced it would balance out not being able to listen to a song all the way through.

I get that the service is a lite version but come on! If you can’t play with the big boys then perhaps you shouldn’t play at all. I can’t help but think that by offering such a weak alternative when the ability to create something better is widely demonstrated the only outcome is damage to the image and reputation of its creators. D- for effort guys!

If you have some time to waste (and five minutes is all it takes to read through their description of the tool) then you can visit their product site for info.

Editor: Really why bother? Only more stupid news this week was Nokia launching a phone with an operating system they have already cancelled. Genius.

Hacking news

You’ve got to feel for poor Sony right now, following months of bad publicity, service restrictions and much finger pointing the final blow comes in the fact that the person allegedly responsible for bringing the gaming giant to its knees is in fact a 19 year old, who managed to infiltrate the Sony network from his mother’s basement. Ok I made up the mother’s basement bit but reportedly the set up wasn’t that different.

Although the allegations have yet to be proven, it’s a bitter blow for Sony, not to mention the other networks supposedly exposed. Sega is the most recently hit with the CIA, Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Office of National Statistics all reportedly suffering at the hacker’s hands. That’s quite a repertoire the young man has built for himself. I suddenly feel like such a massive under achiever.

And while I understand it’s illegal and of course am not an advocate for such blatant disregard for data privacy, there is something mildly appealing in a hippy, one world, fight the man kind of way. Of course I wouldn’t be saying that if it were my data let lose on the web but as far as I can see this recent activity has been more to prove a point than to actually use the data.

And it’s a point well made too. If Sony hadn’t bragged about their network being “un-hackable” then they wouldn’t be looking quite so foolish now and perhaps they wouldn’t have even been targeted in the first place.

One things for sure I’ll be following this one closely, all the while rubbing my hands together with glee and enjoying every squirm-ridden moment.

Editor: Have you been on evil juice Felice? Angry blogging today! I’m sure the police will be around shortly to investigate  your involvement….

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