Americans Are A Bunch Of Bad Santas

Supply chain insight company FusionOps released a new survey gauging Americans’ concerns and attitudes about holiday shopping and the results are eye-opening, and distinctly American.

Twenty-three percent of Americans said they’d be willing to behave unethically if it meant leaving a retail store with the last hot holiday gift. This number was highest among students (36 percent), parents (37 percent), and the employed (29 percent) – only 16 percent of unemployed Americans would be willing to behave unethically to score the last hot holiday gift.

Twenty-seven percent of students and 17 percent of parents said they’d be willing to lie to other shoppers (compared to 10 percent of the general population); 14 percent of students and 16 percent of parents would be willing to cut in line (compared to 8 percent of the general population); and 13 percent of students and 8 percent of parents would be willing to knock an adult down (compared to 5 percent of the general population).

Nine percent of students and 8 percent of parents admitted they would even be willing to push over a child if it meant leaving with the last hot holiday gift.

Forty-five percent of Americans agreed that the most likely result of holiday gift shortages would be an increase in temper tantrums, and that a shortage of smartphones would result in the most disappointment during the holiday season (36 percent).

And finally, 40 percent of the respondents and 51 percent of Millennials believe that the president is in a position to ensure holiday gift shortages never occur. When asked if there was a specific 2016 candidate who would be able to help, 20 percent of the respondents and a similar percentage of Millennials (22 percent) say Donald Trump would be best at this, while 12 percent of general respondents (17 percent of Millennials) put their faith in Hillary Clinton. While the general respondents put less faith in Bernie Sanders on this front (7 percent) more Millennials (14 percent) think President Sanders would do an adequate job of ensuring hot gifts make it home for the holidays.

Is Your Vizio Smart TV Spying On You?

A report by online public interest journal ProPublica last week raised privacy concerns over Vizio TVs.

According to the report, Vizio’s smart TVs track users’ viewing habits and share it with advertisers, who can then find that user on their phone and other devices.

The tracking — which Vizio calls “Smart Interactivity” — is turned on by default for the more than 10 million smart TVs that the company has sold. Customers who want to escape it have to opt-out.

In a statement, Vizio said customers’ “non-personal identifiable information may be shared with select partners … to permit these companies to make, for example, better-informed decisions regarding content production, programming and advertising.”

Vizio’s actions appear to go beyond what others are doing in the emerging interactive television industry. Vizio rivals Samsung and LG Electronics only track users’ viewing habits if customers choose to turn the feature on. And unlike Vizio, they don’t appear to provide the information in a form that allows advertisers to reach users on other devices.

According to ProPublica here’s how it works: You watch TV, Vizio tracks what you viewed and collects your IP address. The company then works with data brokers to connect your IP address with your gender, age, income, and interests. Vizio then passes this “enhanced data” to advertisers who can track all devices that have connected to your home IP address.

Cable TV companies and video rental companies are prohibited by law from selling information about the viewing habits of their customers. However, Vizio says that those laws — the Video Privacy Protection Act and cable subscriber protections — don’t apply to its business.

Tech Giants Band Together To Fight Financial Regulation

Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal are combining forces to launch Financial Services Now, a new coalition eyeing regulation around access to capital, payment security and digital payments. The effort is led by Brian Peters, a top lobbyist at Franklin Square Group, which also lobbies on behalf of some of the tech giants that are behind the new group, known as FIN. “Innovation is coming to financial services,” Peters said in a statement, “and now is the time for Washington to help enable a modern financial system that is more accessible, affordable, and secure.”

Interestingly, all five founding companies also are members of the Electronic Transactions Association, a payments tech group that includes major banks and credit card providers. FIN, however, has a few more industry-specific asks. For example, it wants transferring funds between bank accounts to be “as fast as sending an email.”

A Fed task force is studying the issue, but the tech coalition wants them to hurry up. It’s also following lending practices, eyeing a Treasury Department-led process to explore the tools and data companies can use to assess creditworthiness and approve loans. And FIN plans to “pay close attention to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Peters explained in an interview with Politico, noting the coalition hopes to partner with the agency in the future.

IFA Slates Rival Event To CES Asia

IFA is taking on CES Asia in a battle for the Chinese market.

The inaugural Consumer Electronics China (CE China) trade show, sponsored by Messe Berlin, will take place at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center April 20-22, 2016, three weeks before the second annual CES Asia event, in Shanghai, put on by the newly renamed Consumer Technology Association.

Messe Berlin said CE China will have a maximum capacity of 30,000 square meters of exhibition space for the inaugural event.

“Pre-bookings have been very brisk, so we already had to set an upper limit for the booth size available to each company,” said Jens Heithecker, executive director of IFA at Messe Berlin.

CE China has the support of Shenzhen’s Economy Trade and Information Commission and the city’s administration, Messe Berlin said. Leading Chinese retailers like Alibaba and Gome are also backing the concept, while other leading retailer groups have signaled their support, according to the trade group.

IDG, a leading Chinese publisher focusing on consumer electronics, will be a long-term strategic Partner of CE China.  


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