AT&T to sell aggregated mobile data, how this affects real estate valuations

By on July 4, 2013

AT&T has changed their privacy policy and announced that they will begin selling aggregated mobile usage data to third parties.

While it’s hard to find a reason to be offended at someone selling your aggregate usage data, it is interesting to consider what this data might be used for.

Here are some use cases which AT&T describes:

The first program will make reports available to businesses. These will contain anonymous information about groups of customers, such as how they collectively use our products and services. For example, they might tell a retailer about the number of wireless devices in or near their store by time of day, together with anonymous information about those device users’ collective age or gender.

The second program will use local geography as a factor in delivering online and mobile ads to the people who might find them most useful. For instance, if you happen to live in an area where people like going to the movies, you may get ads for movie theaters. This doesn’t mean you’ll get more ads, it just means that the ads you get from AT&T may be more suited to your interests.

A proxy for foot traffic?
The first use case seems interesting to the extent that a store owner can correlate the number of people in their local area at any point with sales revenue.

For example, this may be useful to McDonalds corporate to analyze local store sales in contrast to how busy it is around the location. Traffic can be measured by daypart, similar to traditional media.

So essentially this has potential to affect real estate value- a more accurate measure of foot traffic.

After all, location location location. And now, we have further proof it.

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