The Changing Face Of Industry Trade Orgs; And An Industry That Trades In Facial Changes

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Mind Your Own IABeeswax

Ad Age dinged the IAB for Meta’s prime placement during the trade group’s Annual Leadership Meeting this week. Three small businesses with the Internet for Growth, an IAB-backed advocacy group, all cited Facebook and Instagram advertising during their presentations.

“I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said IAB CEO David Cohen, before assuring the audience that no businesses were paid to participate.

The IAB has taken flak for expanding its coalition. The IAB’s argument is that online advertising is no longer dictated by publishers and publisher ad tech – the original IAB constituents – and now must include brands, agencies, Big Tech and more to achieve useful consensus.

Agencies were invited to join the IAB this year, and its five new board members include four C-suite agency execs (Dentsu Media, GroupM North America, IPG Mediabrands and Publicis Media in da house) and Microsoft’s VP of advertising. 

The IAB needs to add to its public policy team, though. It hurriedly hired Amazon vet Lartease Tiffith last year after the lobbying team briefly dropped to zero. And this week it listed positions for VP and director of public policy.

On the other hand, the IAB Tech Lab has become an innovation and collaboration hub because that’s where identity data and privacy are baked into web protocols. 

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

On Monday, the IRS said that it will stop using facial recognition technology to identify taxpayers. The move has prompted lawmakers to call for other federal agencies that use controversial facial recognition technology purveyed by companies like Clearview AI to end their contracts, too, Axios reports.

Privacy laws differ around the world, but most governments consider facial recognition to be pretty low-hanging fruit for regulation (i.e., it’s very creepy and popular to rail against).

“There’s a whole array of new legislation targeting the digital space [with respect to] AI,” said Olivier Proust, a partner of the European law firm Fieldfisher, during a virtual panel on Wednesday hosted by the law firm Loeb & Loeb.

Stateside, the growing use of facial recognition is spurring US legislators to action at a state level, according to Loeb & Loeb privacy attorney Susan Israel. Although we may not get a federal privacy law this year, states are cracking down on facial recognition and the use of biometric data.

Speaking of, the EU Commission proposes categorizing AI systems by risk to more strictly regulate those deemed high risk, such as real-time biometric identification and data that can be picked up by a headset, Proust said. Just because it’s the metaverse doesn’t mean there aren’t privacy concerns.

Oops! Didn’t Mean To Eavesdrop

Sticking with data privacy, a bug in Apple’s iOS 15 update automatically enabled a dictation setting on some devices that would record and review conversations with Siri even when users had opted out, ZDNet reports. 

Just goes to show there doesn’t need to be a malicious actor involved for privacy violations to occur.

Apple told The Verge it caught the bug shortly after rolling out iOS 15 … but that was back in September.

Apple didn’t disclose the number of affected devices but promises it’s still working to delete the audio data it received without consent.

Apple says it corrected the opt-in bug in its latest software update, iOS 15.2, which was released in December.

Whenever you download iOS 15.4, which is currently in beta, you can now expect a pop-up prompt asking once and for all if you’re really sure you don’t want to be recorded.

But Wait, There’s More!

Streaming giants prepare for potential multibillion-dollar sale of Lord of the Rings IP rights. [Variety]

Local papers find hints of success and optimism in online subscriptions. [NYT]

Location data platform Radar Labs raises $55 million. [release]

Apple plans for iPhones to become credit card readers. [Axios]

Go figure: One of Instacart’s most loyal customers turns out to be its competitor, Gopuff. [Insider]

Reselling gig work is TikTok’s newest side hustle. [The Verge]

You’re Hired!

Hamid Qayyum is appointed chief commercial officer of identity marketing solution provider Stirista. [release]

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