How using Google Analytics and Facebook pixel: resulted in a fine of $1.2 million.

Trust and transparency are rapidly changing. Check out these two examples and consider if your business has any exposures. 

Last week, Sephora, an A-List online makeup business, agreed to pay a $1.2 million fine for allegedly violating the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

  • California accused Sephora of providing its customer’s data to third parties.
  • It shared the data with commonly used web-analytics companies on its website.
  • Google Analytics and advertising services provided by Facebook or Google are under the act considered to be selling that data.
  • The Attorney General’s office – if you are using the Facebook pixelyou are selling the personal data of your website visitors to Facebook.
  •  CCPA, in its judgment, says “the exchange of personal information for anything of value,” including third-party cookies and pixels, which companies can use to target and retarget ads to browsing customers, is illegal. 
  • At the time, Sephora’s website claimed that “we do not sell personal information.”

An online forum question: What’s a scam that’s become so normalised that we don’t even realise it’s a scam anymore?

White labelling is purchasing a third-party business’s goods and services and presenting them to the customer under your brand name.

White labelling is prevalent in most industries.

The online forum focus was on white-labelled furniture.

 A new website called Spoken – says on its website – We got tired of stores calling the same thing a different name to charge you more. We match exact items across stores to give you the best buying options – Never pay too much again

How it started: Spoken was born from a common furniture-assembly headache: that singular, elusive missing part. While moving to a new apartment last year, Spoken co-founder and CEO Hurtubise found that the missing part of the Urban Outfitters’ Kirby coffee table ($129) he bought wasn’t made by Urban Outfitters but by furniture manufacturer Sauder. 

A Google search for Sauder brought up the same piece of furniture from Home Depot—which, at the time, was sold for “half the price”, Hurtubise said.

Next, it was codebreaking: Retailers’ secrets – they disguise white-labelled products by photoshopping the original supplier photos. 

  • Some e-commerce sites use CGI product images rather than photographs. 
  • Retailers do this and add other images or words in an image’s background to prevent consumers from reverse Google-image searching a product and finding it elsewhere at lower prices, Hurtubise noted.

No previous industry experience: The founders didn’t have much retail experience, which Abraham said was a benefit. “I should be able to identify any given item everywhere it’s sold. And that would empower me as a consumer and buyer to make an informed choice. 

Entire industries exist built on white labelling and home brands. 

An adjacent industry – mattress retailing is built on disguising mattresses supplied to retailer A from retailers B and C. Changing the mattress name, fabric and stitching – hey presto, the mattress is no longer the same – but it fundamentally is the same – across all retailers. The primary difference – you may pay a lot more. 

How exposed is your business to changing community expectations and legal changes?  

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Our business reflects the human truth: we are a social and human-first digital agency built on strategic narrative and pitch across platforms.

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Your ideal buyer truth is our lifeblood – we are loyal to it, defend it and accelerate it.

If you have read this far, thank you for your attention. 

It means a lot. I hope this helped you even a little bit in better making sense of this topic. If so, please, share it with a friend who might also benefit from it. 

Thanks for reading,