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AP is reporting that companies are pitching retailers to bring the technology into their physical stores as a way to better compete with online rivals like Amazon that are already armed with troves of information on their customers and their buying habits.
In fact, you may not even realize you are being watched unless you happen to notice the penny-sized lenses. And that has raised concerns over privacy. "The creepy factor here is definitely a 10 out of 10," said Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum.
Kroger, which has 2,800 supermarkets, is testing cameras embedded in a price sign above shelves in two stores in the suburbs outside Cincinnati and Seattle. Video screens attached to the shelves can play ads and show discounts. Kroger said the cameras guess a shopper's age and sex but the information is anonymous and the data is not being stored. If the tests work out well, the company said it could expand it into other locations.
Walgreens, which has more than 8,000 drugstores, installed cooler doors with cameras and sensors at six locations in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Bellevue, Washington. Instead of the usual clear glass doors that allow customers to see inside, there are video screens that display ads along with the cooler's contents.
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Above the door handle is a camera that can try to guess ages and track irises to see where you are looking, but Walgreens said those functions are off for now. The company said the cameras are currently being used to sense when someone is in front of the cooler and count the number of shoppers passing by. It declined to say if it will turn on the other functions of the camera.
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Advocates of the technology say it could benefit shoppers by showing them discounts tailored to them or drawing attention to products that are on sale. But privacy experts warn that even if the information being collected is anonymous, it can still be used in an intrusive way.
Meanwhile, if your job is to boost customer service, reduce operating or even just generally improving your company's financial position, you have probably looked at supply chain management. Thanks to our friends at Gartner, we have a nice clean of the top 8 supply chain technology trends:
1.) Artificial Intelligence: AI supports the shift to broader supply chain automation that many organizations are seeking like enhancing risk mitigation by analyzing large sets of data, continuously identifying evolving patterns, and predicting disruptive events along with potential resolutions.
2.) Advanced Analytics: Although not new, they are increasingly helping organizations become more proactive and actionable, both in taking advantage of future opportunities and avoiding potential future disruptions.
3.) IoT: Certain areas could have a profound impact on are enhanced logistics management, improved customer service and improved supply availability.
4.) Robotic Process Automation: This technology can reduce human intervention and improves consistency across manual data sources within manufacturing.
5.) Autonomous Things: An explosion in the number of connected, intelligent things is fueling this trend. For example, the use of drones to reduce time required for inventory checks.
6.) Digital Supply Chain Twins: A digital representation of the relationships between all physical entities of end-to-end supply chain processes — products, customers, markets, distribution centers/warehouses, plants, finance, attributes and weather.
7.) Immersive Experience: Organizations might use Augmented Reality along with quick response codes and mobile technology to speed up equipment changeovers in factories.
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8.) Blockchain in Supply Chain: Organizations might use blockchain to track global shipments with tamper-evident labels, allowing a reduction in the time needed to send paperwork back and forth with port authorities and improved counterfeit identification.
In other data-driven news, new rules related to customer privacy are increasingly becoming meaningful for companies as they begin to feel the full force of complying with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in addition to additional regulatory requirements.
Interestingly, seven in 10 privacy executives surveyed by Gartner believe they "lack an information governance framework that can adapt to changing regulations."
Here are five priorities Executives are chasing related to privacy:
1.) Adapting to a Volatile Regulatory Environment
2.) Establishing a Privacy Strategy to Support Digital Transformation
3.) Implementing an Effective Third-Party Risk Management Program
4.) Strengthening Customer Trust and Brand Loyalty
5.) Identifying Metrics to Measure Privacy Program Effectiveness
"Leading organizations are prioritizing flexibility when building their information governance structures, realizing that both the regulatory and technology landscapes will continue to shift across the next few years," said Brian Lee of Gartner. "Privacy executives can play a lead role in identifying the most urgent business problems and collaborating with stakeholders on defining risk ownership across the business."
The challenge of formalizing information governance in a fast-paced digital environment remains a key concern for privacy executives. "As privacy executives develop strategies to meet a growing list of challenges" adds Lee. "Privacy executives must go beyond simple metrics that track activities and look to measure how those activities impact their strategic objectives."
Data Driven is produced by Tech Rally Media, and sponsored by RestonLogic, cloud wizards leveraging over 10 years experience helping companies automate, transform and build highly-secure and stable systems. RestonLogic offers a complete suite of IT solutions from strategic advisory to managed services. Book a strategy session today!
Disclaimer: The blurbs highlighted on Data Driven are available for information purposes only, and don't necessarily reflect opinions of our editors.
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