Weekly Digital Breakdown

Users Opt For Data Privacy

As online users are getting more details on how their personal information is being used for advertising purposes, data privacy has come under the spotlight. In January 2020, California is slated to become the first state to enact a bill, The California Consumer Privacy Act, which would require publishers to divulge how user data is being shared with third parties as well as offer an opt-out to California residents. Multiple notifications must be present offering the user the option of “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.” 

A recent survey was conducted regarding consumer concerns around data privacy with 87% of panel participants (not all of which were California residents) stating they would opt out of allowing their personal information to be used by third parties. Of the remainder, 8% would “just go to the website” and 6% were unsure.

With all the recent press coverage around this issue, these results weren’t terribly surprising. However, shortly after, a similar survey was done with an additional option for users to receive a reward for the use of their personal information by a third party. By offering an incentive, the percentage of those wanting to opt out completely dropped to 61% and 21% of participants said they would now be willing to allow the use of their information if being rewarded.

It’s hard to determine how Californians will react when given the option in a live setting starting in January. However, the rest of the country is looking to them as the trailblazer in protecting user data online. All will be watching how they handle the change as well as the overall impact to the way publishers operate.


Instagram Launches Sales

For many small businesses, social media is one of their biggest advertising resources. With the ability to grow interest and followers organically, brands know a social presence is necessary. In an effort to better accommodate ecommerce business, Instagram is implementing new ways to make the process easier. Following the release of “Checkout on Instagram,” the company announced Monday they are adding a feature that will allow businesses an easier way to launch products and users the convenience of receiving reminders when they are ready for purchase.

How does it work? Users can set reminders in posts for featured upcoming products they are interested in buying. Shoppers will get an update just ahead of the launch so they are able to return to purchase. In addition, a new sticker has been added to Stories that can be used to highlight new products set to be released where reminders can be utilized. 

Since the new feature is widely available, it’s inevitable that big brands will be leveraging for exclusive product releases. However, it may appeal just as much to smaller brands who rely so heavily on the platform to reach their dedicated followers to not only patronize their business but share their finds. https://marketingland.com/launching-a-new-product-new-instagram-tests-launch-day-buy-on-instagram-reminders-268350?

Google Goes Off The Grid

In keeping true to their commitment to aid users in digital data protection, this week Google unveiled additional tools to protect online privacy. The new controls span core products and can be immediately implemented. 

Google has extended the Chrome incognito feature, which allows users to hide browsing history to its Google Maps services. By enabling Incognito mode from the menu in Maps on the app, location searches will not be saved, tracked, nor used to provide dining or commuting suggestions based on the information. The option can be enabled or disabled at any time. Incognito for Google Maps will be rolled out to Android users in October and extended to iOS soon after.


An auto-delete history timer has been added to YouTube which has several time period options which can be selected by the user. Like location history and web and app activity options, users can select 3 months, 18 months or until they manually delete and YouTube will automatically purge the historic data. In addition to protecting data from outside sources, this may also be beneficial to those sharing devices and accounts within a household. 


In the wake of reports of Google employees using smart speakers to listen to users, there will now be an option to delete Assistant activity from your Google account with a voice command such as “Google, delete everything I said to you last week.” The added feature has been automatically activated. The timeframe for deletion is currently limited to only the prior week through the Assistant, but if asked for an extended timeframe, users will be directed to their Google account settings to complete the action. 


If you’re concerned with Google password’s ability to be hacked or have just used the same variation opening you to vulnerability, Google’s new password check-up tool can help. Users can automatically see any potential security issues detected with Google Account credentials or take additional safety steps such as removing old devices or unused apps that utilize a Google login. In addition, Password Checkup has been added to the password manager which houses login information across multiple sites. Users can view which passwords are overused, lacking strength or have been compromised.  Given the potential devastating effects of online data breaches, the option is sure to provide users perspective on the danger of habits they may not have realized.


As users continue to spend more time online, expectations for additional security measures is only likely to increase. Providing these types of tools will be vital to gain and keep user’s trust.