In 2010 I wrote on this blog about some of the difficulties
associated with facial recognition and privacy. Although biometric
scanning is becoming more important, it's still not really the
method of choice for advertisers who want to recognise a consumer
in a particular location.
That solution is far more mundane, the good old Smartphone.
In the past couple of years, location based services such as
foursquare and Facebook Places have made it easy for users to
check-in and let their friends know where they are located, based
on location-aware mobile devices.
What's interesting though is that there seem to be few
issues of privacy for advertisers to worry about, if some basic
rules are followed.
Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario. You are a
'fan' of Starbucks cafes on Facebook. You go to one of
their branches and check-in on Facebook Places. You notice that the
café chain has pasted a voucher on your Facebook wall that
can only be used within the next one hour at a specific
To some this might seem an abuse of information. The café
chain knows where you are and the exact time so they can make a
time-bound offer to a specific branch, but think for a moment...
the consumer has already clicked 'like' on the Starbucks
fan page to indicate that they like the brand, and they volunteered
their own location information to Facebook Places.
If the consumer has volunteered all this information, then
surely they are going to be delighted when the chain rewards them
– rather than having any concern about being stalked by a
coffee company – Starbucks or anyone else.
Though social media is involved, all the standard principles of
data protection still apply even in this case. Soon advertising may
be not just directed to an audience of one, but to one person in a
specific place at a specific time too.
Thomas Eggar LLP is a limited liability partnership
registered in England and Wales under registered number OC326278
whose registered office is at The Corn Exchange, Baffin's Lane,
Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1GE (VAT number 991259583). The word
'partner' refers to a member of the LLP, or an employee or
consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. A list of
the members of the LLP is displayed at the above address, together
with a list of those non-members who are designated as partners.
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Lexcel and
Investors in People accredited.
Thomas Eggar LLP is not authorised by the Financial
Services Authority. However, we are included on the register
maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry
on insurance mediation activity which is broadly the advising on,
selling and administering of insurance contracts. This part of our
business, including arrangements for complaints and redress if
something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation
Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Services
Authority website. We can also provide certain further limited
investment services to clients if those services are incidental to
the professional services we have been engaged to provide as
Thesis Asset Management plc, our associated financial
services company, provides a comprehensive range of investment
services and advice. Thesis is owned by members of Thomas Eggar LLP
but is independent of and separate to it. No lawyer connected with
Thomas Eggar LLP provides services through Thesis as a practicing
lawyer regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Thesis is
authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Thesis has its own framework of investor protection and
professional indemnity cover but Thesis clients do not enjoy the
statutory protection of solicitors' clients.
The contents of this article are intended as guidelines
for clients and other readers. It is not a substitute for
considered advice on specific issues. Consequently, we cannot
accept any responsibility for this information or for any errors or
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.