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Hello Digital looks at the highlights from the week that was.

As the year starts to wrap up, we look back at the rollercoaster week in digital. From Facebook UK moving their users under US privacy terms, the 10 big technology trend predictions in marketing for 2021, to what new competitors to Google will actually need to do to succeed in the market.

Keep reading for all the digital highlights. 


To avoid EU privacy laws, Facebook is moving UK users to US terms

Facebook has announced that it will shift its users in the UK to user agreements with their corporate headquarters in California. What this means exactly is that Facebook UK will end their current relationship with Facebook’s Irish unit and move out of reach of Europe’s privacy laws. 

The shift will come into effect next year and comes after Google announced a similar move in February this year. As companies like Facebook and Google respond to Brexit and make changes to their operations, shifts are being made to manage legal responsibilities and obligations. 

These and other companies have their European head offices in Dublin, which remains in the European Union. With the UK’s exit from the EU, it will change the legal relationship with Ireland.

Some are criticising the shift, with privacy advocates fearing that the UK could move to a far looser data privacy regime. This is even more pertinent as the UK pursues a trade deal with the U.S, which has far fewer protections. Others are worried that Facebook users in the UK could more easily be the subject of surveillance by US intelligence agencies or even data requests from law enforcement.


CMO predict 10 technology trends in marketing for 2021

It’s that time of year when people start predicting trends for the year to come. CMO have put together 10 predictions for technology trends in marketing for 2021. The biggest trend they’re predicting is the continued shift of consumers’ expectations to all things digital. 

Former CEO, chairman and cofounder of WebEx, Subrah Iyar said of the digital shift; “This implies shifting customer engagement experiences to a ‘Pull’ model from a ‘Push’ model – for doing business where customers are able to pull services on-demand than having businesses push their services onto a customer.”

Some of the specific predictions include the growth of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the catch-all of extended reality (XR) in marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) opening up further possibilities for delivery and service, and rapid adoption of collaboration, automation and workflow tech due to remote working. 

Take a look at their full list of predictions and get ready for a big 2021.


Now you can see all the ways Facebook tracks you, thanks to an iOS update

It won’t come as a surprise that the data Facebook tracks of its users is quite extensive and in-depth. But now, users have full access to see all the ways it and it’s affiliate apps (like Instagram and WhatsApp) track you. 

With the recent Apple iOS 14.3 update, the App Store was also updated and now shows people a detailed list of “how developers may handle your data[.]” when pulling up an app. Mashable Australia have included a collection of screenshots to show the full list of what Facebook tracks, from the obvious things like your phone number and contacts, to more worrying things like “precise location,” “sensitive info,” “audio data,” and “emails or text messages,”. 

It should be noted that the App Store update has this feature for all apps, so it’s not just Facebook that will be having their dirty laundry aired. Still, it’s interesting to see the full extent of what data they have access to and are collecting from users. It will definitely make you think twice about your privacy.

Facebook, understandably, was not happy about all this information being laid out for users and subsequently ran a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post lambasting Apple. 


What new search engines will need to succeed in the market

In the wake of all of the government scrutiny of Google and its monopolising tactics, Search Engine Land has looked at what it would actually take for a new search engine to succeed. 

Google launched 22 years ago and for over half of that time, it has been the most prevalent search engine in the US and globally. Now that regulators are investigating their practices, it’s clear that they might not have maintained that position without some market manipulations. Whatever the reality, the scrutiny may be helping to pave the way for competitors to enter the market – and actually succeed. But what would these newcomers need to do?

Rand Fishkin, CEO and co-founder of SparkToro, has said that to meaningfully compete with Google, it would necessitate “[Building] a product that shows results at least as relevant, useful, fast, and cognitively low-load as Google themselves, then build a brand that at least tens to hundreds of millions of people rapidly trust and prefer to Google,”. 

Easy, right? 

However, others are arguing that Google should not be the goal. Eric Enge, principal at Perficient, has said that “the objective could be to build a strong cadre of users interested in building out their ‘own corner of the web,’”. 

We’ll have to wait and see what the new crop of search engines will look like.