Privacy is Big Business: Evidon Sells Consumer Business to Cliqz International
February 15, 2017 – Todd Ruback
There’s exciting news to share. Ghostery has sold its consumer business–our name and beloved Ghostery browser extension, and mobile browser– to Cliqz International, a privacy centric browser and search company based in Munich, Germany. What’s this means to you? Well, if you’re a consumer, it means we found a great home for our consumer products that so many of you rely upon. If you’re a business, it means we’re going to continue to support the digital advertising ecosystem and various self-regulatory programs, while also building enterprise products to help companies improve their digital governance and comply with privacy laws. Since Cliqz is taking on the Ghostery name, we’re going back to Evidon. To learn more check out this great article in TechCrunch and also this press release.
Our breaking news aside, there is also other privacy happenings to report, beginning with the FTC’s landmark settlement with smart TV manufacturer VIZIO for alleged unauthorized tracking in over 11 million televisions. This important settlement, where VIZIO will pay $2.2 million to the FTC and State of New Jersey, underscores not only the importance of transparency and consent, regardless of the technology or platform, but also that TV viewing habits should be considered sensitive data. In other FTC news, we honor Jessica Rich, who recently announced her departure from the FTC as its Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, for her 26 years of distinguished service.
From the EU, a major privacy case got underway in Ireland, where the well-respected Irish Data Protection Commissioner has asked the Irish High Court to refer to the EU’s top court a critically important issue, namely whether model clauses, a legal way to transfer personal data from the EU, are sufficient to protect a person’s privacy rights. This important case, watched by many privacy wonks like me, could have a serious impact on cross-border data movement. I’ll be sure to monitor its progress if it makes its way to the Continent and will report back with any new developments.
In digital advertising news, according to a recent study by BIA/Kelsey, mobile advertising spend in the U.S. will more than double by 2021, reaching approximately an eye-popping $72 Billion. If true, that would amount to an annual compounded growth rate of almost 17%, great growth in any sector. This really isn’t so far fetched, especially when one considers that mobile advertising already accounted for 51% of all advertising in 2016. I sense many market opportunities, as well as amazing innovation, will arise from this booming sector.
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Todd Ruback, Chief Privacy Officer