A forensic approach to Google Analytics data quality and compliance.

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Verified-data.com audit of Quebec-cite.com

I first wrote about Verified-Data six months ago. Verified-Data is a sophisticated Google Analytics auditing service from my good friend Brian Clifton, author, speaker and overall data quality and privacy expert. I recently dug back into it and thought I should do another review.

The notion of “good decision informed by bad data” is particularly pernicious. As a decision maker, you might think you can rely on good data when it is not actually the case. You just don’t know it. …

Bill C-11: the Canadian version of GDPR — a little less and a little more.

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Photo by DynamicWang on Unsplash

Called Bill C-11, the draft was presented yesterday and so far, it seems to be well received by lawyers and privacy advocates. It is pretty ambitious and probably far from being perfect — but it is certainly a step in the right direction and something that was long overdue.

Statistics Canada says that about 57 per cent of Canadians online reported experiencing a cyber security incident in 2018.
CBC, Nov 16, 2020

So now, on top of GDPR, CCPA, and many others, we have DCIA and CPPA. So many acronyms ! So many slightly different rules to follow!

What’s Similar to the GDPR?

For my friends more familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe (GDPR), it comes close to it. It also improves upon the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The DCIA Fact Sheet provides some highlights. …

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Source: Experiment watermelon vs 100 rubber bands o YouTube (I know you will watch it!)

A recap of the virtual Web Analytics Wednesday Copenhagen hosted by IIH Nordic on August 26, 2020.

Updated September 18, 2020

I was really looking forward to visit Copenhagen, renew with old friends and get to meet people I’ve only known virtually… but that will be for another time!

You can find a recording of the session — although for some reason there were technical issues even though I have a super-fast fibre-optic connection and never had issues with other software. The presentation itself is available on SlideShare.

Quick Polls on Privacy & Ethics

Some of the data shown in the presentation come from the “Personal or nut?” game I’ve been posting on LinkedIn. Every weekday I post a new quick poll which is open for two weeks. I add my personal (nonlegal) opinion in the comments, along with some references. The most important aspect of this exercise is to take a step back and think about the ethical use of data for marketing and analytics purposes. Some are less obvious than others and they can initiate pretty interesting conversations. …

In a digital business environment, how might we measure trust? Can any quantitative data help? Or is it all qualitative?

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I was contacted by Shane Breslin, a writer, podcaster and entrepreneur who reached out to me after stumbling upon one of my old blog posts while Googling “Avinash Kaushik trust”.

Reading back my blog post brought some great memories from another time! It’s funny to read about “influencer” years before it was trendy :)

But the most important point for me is this: I feel privileged, 12 years after this post, to have accomplished all I did. I’m blessed what I wrote still holds true today and I continue to learn, to share, to grow professionally and personally. …

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and privacy dust.

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Photo by Jonas Tebbe on Unsplash

Data has been at the heart of what I do since 1986. Even my internship in computer science involved the discovery of patterns in healthcare data. Since I installed my first web server in 1991, I have pushed the envelope on countless projects involving websites, data and marketing.

I am worried… No… I’m literally scared.

I’m worried when those I consider to be the most knowledgeable in our field confidentially open up on their own fears. I’m shocked when I see those who should know the most about privacy are uneducated even if GDPR has been in effect for nearly 2 years and CCPA is around the corner. I’m scared when I see data leaks, unethical marketing and plain and deliberate malpractice such as claiming the use of the mobile device orientation and motion library for marketing purposes is “ethical because it doesn’t need to ask user…

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The situation with the pandemic has upended many old ideas about what is possible and how the economy and society will function.

This is a loose and augmented transcript of the thoughts I shared on the Bright Future podcast by the Conference Board of Canada, hosted on May 21st, 2020.

Since I “jumped the fence” from digital marketing & analytics to privacy and the ethical use of data, the discussions about contact tracing apps have occupied a fair amount of my time. Those apps appears to be a critical part of reopening our economies and they have fuelled the debates that have been happening for many years in the world of marketing and analytics.

Today, I see a “conditioning” of the masses to accept things which would have been inconceivable just a few months ago. At the same time, we understand there’s an urgency — many rightly make a parallel with WWII — and we are willing to sacrifice some of our privacy to fight a common enemy. Call it the “new normal” if you like, but at what cost, and what are the longer-term consequences? …

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A new home for the Google Marketing Platform power tools used by over 10,000 smart digital marketers and analysts.

Finding a new home for Da Vinci Tools was super important for me. Supermetrics has a great vision, has the capacity to bring it to the next level and on top of that, I have the opportunity to endorse a product and a company which already offers powerful tools to marketers.

The Little Story Behind Da Vinci Tools

In 1982, a guy by the name of Peter Norton introduced “unerase” for people using the DOS operating system on PCs. By 1984, he had developed several other tools and revenues were very decent. …

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Raising a red flag was one step, I’m now offering solutions. Will Equifax have the courage to act?

Raising a Red Flag

On November 18th, I published an article entitled “Equifax expose les membres de Desjardins à de nouveaux risques” — Equifax exposes Desjardins members to new risks. The long and technical article explained how the marketing practices of Equifax, their lack of transparency and apparent negligence could be considered by millions of its clients as an abuse on their right to privacy and unnecessary exposure to new risks. I felt this was especially important for the 4.2 million of Desjardins members who have seen their personal data leaked and are already on the edge, expecting a Damocles sword to strike at any time and see their identity be stolen. …

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Comme la suite d’un mauvais film d’horreur, le prochain vilain dans la série s’appelle Equifax.

À titre d’expert en cybermétrique (digital analytics) ayant un fort intérêt pour l’utilisation éthique des données et le respect de la vie privée, je me suis penché sur la situation de Desjardins, mais surtout sur celle d’Equifax, qui m’apparaît aujourd’hui clairement comme étant le maillon faible.

Depuis l’annonce de la fuite de données historique, le 20 juin dernier, causée par un conseiller de Desjardins oeuvrant en marketing, l’entreprise a eu à faire face à une série d’événements aux graves conséquences pour l’ensemble de ses 4.2 millions de membres. …

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Photo by Hafidh Satyanto on Unsplash

Data models and lack of judgment are steering us toward disaster.

As I read Avinash latest newsletter — “Machine Intelligence, And Your Future!”, I think about my own career path and how, in recent months, I have become much more concerned and worried about the impeding risks of data abuse at scale.

Earlier this year I spent days preparing for my Superweek “Hamel Hell” presentation, and even more for the Marketing Festival. I dug into fascinating stories of rogue machine learning experiments and other data horror stories which I summed up in “The Doomsday Upon Us.” …


Stéphane Hamel

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust. Digital marketer & analyst with a strong interest for privacy and the ethical use of data.

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