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Cross-Device Retargeting Company, SilverPush, Faces Allegations Of Privacy Breach In US

Cross-Device Retargeting Company, SilverPush, Faces Allegations Of Privacy Breach In US

San Francisco and Gurgaon-based SilverPush, a cross-device retargeting company, is raising concerns in the US over allegations of privacy breach over its technology. The company uses a technology which enables smartphones to pick up an ultrasonic beep emitted by television sets which helps SilverPush to track the effectiveness of an advertisement or the performance of a program.

Washington-based Centre for Democracy & Technology has submitted a written statement to the Federal Trade Commision that the exercise of connecting a mobile device with other electronic devices creates ‘new privacy issues’ as it enables user activity to be tracked in a more efficient manner.

However, Silverpush has rebutted the allegations of violating a user’s privacy. According to Hitesh Chawla, Founder and CEO of SilverPush, the company cannot violate a user’s privacy any more than internet giants like Google or Facebook.

When contacted, Piyush Bhatt, Product Manager at SilverPush said, “We ask permission for opting it and opt-out is voluntary.  It is just about educating the market since this is permission based and even less intrusive data than what google and Facebook have, which is your sign in data from different devices. We comprise of EULA (End user license Agreement) wherever our SDK are placed. We are concerned about privacy and would not do something that intrudes ethical data practices”.

He further added, “There have to be guidelines around cross-device tracking. We are now actively involved with all the stakeholders to answer their concerns as well as providing thought leadership on best practices for cross device marketing.”

Piyush is confident that the concerned allegations will not affect the business in anyway.

In September this year, SilverPush made the headlines when it launched its beta version of PRISM, a platform for brands to measure their television ratings. The technology allows real time TV and digital medium tracking using SilverPush’s proprietary technology. Through PRISM, a user’s online activity is matched to TV airings of thousands of ads across hundreds of channels on TV. Inaudible sound waves embedded into television advertisements then trigger a hit on the user’s smartphone.

This technology is currently operational only in India.

“This is an industry where least amount of data exists on performance, in spite of the biggest media component. In continuation of our existing cross-device advertising platform, we now help marketers with data on the impact analysis of their TV campaigns, along with data on their competitor spending and mindshare on TV. Furthermore, we extend their TV audience on digital platforms with our cross-device advertising”, Chawla had told Inc42 earlier.

SilverPush’s current client base currently comprise of different sectors across FMCG, auto, telecom and ecommerce. It is now in the process of doing trials with a few big brands across different vertices.

The Federal Trade Commission discussed the issue of cross-device tracking on Monday, reports the US-based Ars Technica.

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