Facial recognition controversy

There are several stories today that are related to the same issue, facial recognition and one controveral company. Clearview AI, is gathering lots of photos, your photos and using them in their system, without your permission and then selling your image to law enforcement.

I don’t like when companies take the approach that they can just scrape personal information and then use that as an asset they sell. You are taking resources, not paying or getting permission for the very resource that is key to the value prop of your business. It is just a sleazy business practice.

Here are three of the many sources available:

NY Times: “The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It”

Mashable: “Controversial facial recognition company claims it has a First Amendment right to your public photos”

The VERGE: “YouTube demands Clearview AI stop scraping its videos for facial recognition database”

If you want to Opt Out you need to live in California or the European Union. On Clearview’s site the privacy request forms are only available for select people.

Source: https://clearview.ai/privacy/requests

I hope the other leading social media companies join YouTube in shutting this down.

UPDATE: According to Mashable, Facebook has joined YouTube in sending a cease and desist letter to the company to stop. (source)

How do you talk about your customers?

Let’s take a look at a conversation that took place on Twitter.  As you read this, think about how your company talks about its customers.

The conversation to the write is:

  • Patrick wants to know why he should get YouTubeTV.  
  • YouTube TV does not say why – they reply that their “fam” will do the talking for them.  
  • Andrew (a member of “the fam”) chimes in with his reasons.  And, mentions why he is no longer with a competing service (DISH)
  • DISH decides to respond with a corporate statement about providing good customer service.  
Notice that when DISH talks about “our customers” it is cold and distant.  When YouTubeTV talks about their customers they call them “fam”.  
Related Impact:  When others read this, what will their impression of YouTubeTV and DISH be? IMO it shows that YouTubeTV is confident in their offering and encourage their customers to advocate for them.   DISH, on the other hand, chose to enter the conversation with a disingenuous answer.

Mentioned in this post:

Tough Competition for Customer Experience

Tonight I was reminded how tough the competition is for each account.  A friend of mine was clearly frustrated about something with his TMobile service and in 9 words vented his frustration.  Within 15min the competition was first to respond – offing to welcome him – 5 min after that TMobile responded.  How fast is your OODA loop?  In this case Verizon was able to get inside TMobile’s Loop. 

How fast is your OODA Loop?  OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.  The loop is because the process is repeated frequently.  It was created by military strategist, John Boyd and says that An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage.  

“How fast is your OODA Loop? Well, that depends on several factors that can affect your reaction time. Simple Reaction Time is generally accepted to be around 220 milliseconds (Laming 1968) – (Source).  In marketing we have more time than 220 milliseconds, for this example the window for any Action was 15min.  

We will be Weightless on January 4th, 2015 an old hoax gets new life

Below is a link from my facebook feed.  Sure there is lots of crap in my feed and most of the ads are misleading BS.  This one sounded familiar and you know me, I try not to be swayed by my cognitive biases – and this one hit the ‘mere-exposure effect‘.
January 4th, 2015 at 9:47am PST the entire Earth will be weightless for 5 minutes.  Wait – because of Pluto?  Yep – the article claims that little no-longer-a-planet, Pluto will be the cause.  Of course a quick BS-Check on Google, Bing, Snopes will tell you that this hoax has been around since the 70s.  According to Snopes it was 1976, “took place in 1976, when British astronomer Patrick Moore informed a radio audience that the movement of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull which would make people on Earth lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. that day.”

What I find interesting is that Buzz Live’s page on this has over 616,000 shares on Facebook and 23,521 ReTweets without mentioning that it is untrue.  Somewhere on the page should be just a little mention that this is a joke.

Can you keep a secret?

Can you keep a secret?

People have a need to share.  The group Improv Everywhere created a great video (video below) about our continual need to share.  I want to take a moment and talk about the need to share secrets.  Do you share secrets?  How do you share?  Do you post on blogs anonymously?  

PostSecretMaybe you write your secret on a postcard and mail it to 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, MD 20874.  Did you know that many people have sent in their secrets.  Frank Warren has been receiving postcards for years, scanning them and posting them on the Blog for the world to enjoy.  Frank has taken many of the submissions and turned them into a hardcover book (Available at Amazon).

Secret Speak FreelyNow there is an app that lets you share your secret with the world.

secret shared

Secret.ly is an app that is currently only available for iPhones.  People can post text and images they want the world to know about.


The difference between PostSecret and Secret.ly is that with a postcard the medium does not contain much information.  There is your originating post mark that would locate the sending location.  With Secret.ly the app is on your phone, and the company uses your cell number to verify you.  If you want something to remain secret, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

Online collaboration tool (Bonus if you are an Evernote user)

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.09.31 PMA new site/tool is launching to help teams collaborate on projects.  LiveMinutes.com is tackeling the challange of working together and staying organized at the same time.

The basics:

  • COSTS:  The site is easy to use and for 5 live projects it is FREE.  I like FREE, I need to test something out before I shell out any money.  The first thing that I found very appealing about the site is that they are bringing together tools that I already use.  A sure way to win me over isn’t my replacing my tools, but making my tools better and that is what they seem to have done here.
  • EVERNOTE:  I live in EverNote.  With LiveMinutes you can connect your EverNote.  This means that notes I have in EverNote are integrated into the system, NOT easy to import, but rather, right there in the system without me having to go hunting.  Then edits made to EverNotes are synced back to my notebooks.
  • CHAT:  The middle pane is the chat area where anyone who is working on the project can chat, or leave messages for other members to see when they come back into the system.
  • VIDEO:  You can turn on your webcam and the video image replaces your profile photo.  It does not take up all the screen space but stays nice and small where it should be.
  • AUDIO:  If you need to ‘talk’ with the team you can enable the microphone.  What I love is that you don’t have to.  If you are working and don’t need to be talking you don’t have to.  However, if you want you can enable the ‘conference line’ and everyone can dial into a conference call.
  • FILE SHARING/COMMENTING:  The system allows you to upload any file to the system that other users can view, edit and comment on, all within the the projects page.  If you are developing a presentation other team members can click on ANY element in the presentation and type in their comments or suggestions.

What’s Missing: 

  • They are working on deeper integration with Google Drive, DropBox and other services.  On the site it says these will be available soon.
  • Mobile app.  It would be nice to have an iPad and Andriod app.

I will be giving this a good workout with a few projects that I am working on right now.  I have a few internal projects that involve only coworkers and I have three larger projects that include vendors and outside consultants.

Google Play credit for your opinion

Google is now rolling out a system to offer Google Play credits for your opinions. Last year Google launched, Google Consumer Surveys (GCS).  GCS is survey tool used to ask for your opinion as you try to access premium content for news sites.  It acts very similar to the way Facebook marketers used to use like gates.  If you didn’t notice, a like-gate is/was a small hurdle that is placed in the way of content, you can see the article or signup for the contest once you click ‘like’. On Facebook the like gate was away for brand pages to increase the amount of likes their page had. In the case of Google Consumer Surveys it is a way to get people to complete their survey before people can view full articles or other content. Research companies, large brands and anyone that wants a fast way to survey people uses GCS.

Expanding their survey population beyond the desktop, Google has built Google Opinion Rewards.  This system uses an app (Andriod only for now) that users install on their phone.  The application will then notify users when there is a survey available for them.  What does Google get?  Anywhere from $1.10 to $3.50 per completed survey.  What’s in it for the person completing the survey?  $1.00 in Google Play credit that can be used to buy songs, apps, books, or games.