Maryland law bans employers from peeking into Facebook pages.
A new law in Maryland prohibits employers from requiring prospective employees to provide their log-ins for Facebook and other social media sites. Employers had been using the technique to obtain some private insight into potential hires. While info posted on public pages remains fair game, the Maryland law protects the individual's right to keep some opinions, activities and history private. The big question is whether other states will follow suit with similar protections.
Search Engine Journal
PayPal expands options for small businesses.
PayPal promotes its cost-effective and secure payment solutions for small businesses, and it is expanding these options with PayPal Payments, a range of three payment processing options. Costs range from free to $30 a month, depending on how much control and customization a business owner wants.
Mastercard plans release of an anti-fraud tool for e-commerce merchants.
This May, Mastercard will launch a new anti-fraud tool specifically designed to alert e-commerce merchants in real time about fraud risk. The tool will evaluate the likelihood that a transaction is fraudulent based on a proprietary algorithm. While the tool is not perfect, Mastercard estimates that e-commerce firms could save 15% to 30% in losses by steering away from transactions the tool flags as highly suspicious.
Barcodes are a growing option for print ads.
Barcodes can be scanned to lead customers to web pages with more detail than would be possible in traditional ads. Barcodes are used in this way in only 4% of print ads currently, but that number is growing. General retailers are the leading users, representing 21.9% of the total, followed by technology companies at 13.6% and financial services firms at 6.7%. Competitrack, which provided the data, recommends laying out landing sites with mobile devices in mind, since that's how the barcodes are usually scanned.
Fourth quarter 2011 figures appear ominous for digital advertising.
Newly released 2011 figures from Kantar Media uncover a minimal increase of 0.4% in Internet ad spending, with worse results year over year, as fourth quarter figures declined by 6.2%. Display fared better than paid search, with a 5.5% rise for the full year compared to a 2.8% decrease for paid search. However, both showed negative year over year comparisons in the fourth quarter, with display ad spending down 5.9% and paid search down 6.4%.
Survey reveals intriguing customer attitudes toward online security.
A survey released by StrategyOne and Edelman on March 7 shows consumers are wary about the privacy of their personal data: 90% of respondents were concerned about security, and 80% felt they know more about the issue than they did 5 years ago. As a possible effect of these fears on their behavior, 21% said they have passed on rewards programs because of concerns about providing data. However, while 84% say security is important to them, only 33% expect companies to actually secure their personal information.
Direct Marketing News
Twitter expands availability of its promoted products via mobile apps.
Twitter announced on February 28th that it had made Promoted Accounts available through apps on iPhone and Android devices, and that Promoted Tweets will soon be available on mobile apps. Previously, the products had been available through Twitter's mobile website, but not through its official mobile app.