Viewpoint

first_imgMany congratulations to Hovis on its 120th birthday! And particular congratulations to all the millers and bakers who have maintained the standard over the years, enabling the loaf to hold such a prominent place in our hearts – and on the shelves of course.Colin Lomax, RHM technical manager, merits a special mention. He is one of those individuals who has the talent to inspire others: company directors, fellow bakers, up-and-coming students, and the editor of British Baker, who has seen him at work. He knows vast amounts about milling and baking and, like so many in this industry, cares deeply for his craft. The last time he judged a competition, I heard a student say: “He makes me really want to get the crumb better – up to his standards.” That’s because he puts in enthusiasm and draws out talent.But his sense of humour is never far below the surface, as anyone who has worked with him, seen him demonstrate or sat in on a British Society of Baking conference he has chaired, knows.Paul Wilkinson and Peter Baker, famous names from RHM’s recent past, have moved on, but both contributed a great deal not just to Hovis but RHM’s success, and I am proud to have met and know them both.I must admit I went a bit wobbly when Hovis launched a crustless version of its loaf. I wanted to shout; “That’s where most of the flavour is!” But as soon as I learned it was aimed principally at kids, I felt a lot better.Importantly, Hovis has always “combined innovation and the desire to move forwards with an emphasis on quality and tradition” (pg 26). That is also obvious talking to Miles Warnick, who heads up RHM Bread Bakeries, and Jon Tanner sales and marketing director of the milling division. It must be a very proud time for them, too, with the parent company going for flotation last year and a recent rise in the share price.British Baker actually reached its 120th anniversary six months ago, so we have played an important part in each other’s lives.Tradition is being re-enacted as the famous commercial of the Hovis ‘boy and his bike’ makes a return. It pictures a traditional baker’s boy, wheeling his traditional delivery bike up Gold Hill in Dorset, delivering bread from a traditional basket. But if we look in that basket today, we see modern loaves, made on the latest plant and equipment – and still the pinnacle of success. A very happy 120th to Hovis!last_img read more

Geofencing and the Abortion Minded—Invasive Use of Technology by Activists

first_imgShare13TweetShareEmail13 SharesVon ECD Electronic Components GmbH Dresden, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15780965May 31, 2016; FortuneThese days, when you download an app, it is fairly commonplace to be asked to enable location services on your cell phone. At times, you may have wondered why, say, an app for your grocery store really needs to know where you are located, but chances are you went ahead and allowed it. Location data permits marketers to take advantage of a tool known as geofencing. Geofencing is a service that enables a company to define a virtual perimeter—the “fence” in geofence—around a real location. The software then uses GPS data to send an alert to contacts that have entered (or exited) the fence.Since its inception, some great, albeit borderline creepy, uses for geofencing have been discovered, many of which are centered on marketing. For instance, large companies can target local shoppers, and along the same lines, deals can be specialized by location. Some companies, such as Retail Me Not, use the service to send coupons to users once they have entered the geofence perimeter. The overall idea has been that once companies know how individuals shop, they can offer a more tailored experience. In terms of the nonprofit world, several uses have been identified. Two options that are popular include instant check-in at fundraising events upon entry in the geofence and keeping track of a nonprofit’s most expensive assets (i.e., alerts that indicate when computers, cars, etc. have left the geofence).Unfortunately, an issue arises when organizations use location data in a method that invades the privacy of its consumers in more intimate ways. This is the case with Copley Advertising, whose CEO, John Flynn, has decided to use location-based ad services to reach women who are deemed “abortion-minded.” Flynn’s campaigns can send targeted propaganda to women while they are in the clinic waiting to have an abortion or seeking more information. Since advertising this package, Flynn has been getting much attention from the anti-abortion world; he was hired by RealOptions and Bethany Christian Services to run ad campaigns and was later invited to speak at the Family Research Council’s ProLifeCon Digital Action Summit.Bethany Regional Marketing Manager Jennie VanHorn commented, “Marketing for pregnancy help centers has always been a needle in the haystack approach—cast a wide net and hope for the best. With geofencing, we can reach women who we know are looking for or in need of someone to talk to.”Not all pro-life groups support Flynn’s endeavors, however. One representative said, “I felt disgust, and I felt protective of these women who are going to seek sensitive medical services at a time when they’re vulnerable. They’re being spied on by this capitalist vulture who is literally trying to sell their fetuses. To do this to women without consent is predatory and it’s an invasion of her privacy, and unethical.”Therein lies the crux of the debate. Aside from the issue of reproductive rights, the question is how location data can be used ethically. How far is too far?Although the technology is receiving a lot of attention now, it has been around for decades. Unfortunately, even given this long history, there are only two laws that govern the use of location data—the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and the Communications Act of 1934—but several consumer rights bills are being drafted.In terms of medical information, in the case of anti-abortion groups, Chris Hoofnagle, a University of California, Berkeley School of Law professor, indicates that the law wouldn’t apply. He says, “Privacy law in the U.S. is technology and context dependent. As an example, the medical information you relay to your physician is very highly protected, but if you go to a medical website and search for ‘HIV’ or ‘abortion,’ that information is not protected at all.”The Federal Trade Commission can ensure that advertisers are not misleading consumers, but they don’t hold jurisdiction over nonprofit organizations, and as long as a privacy policy indicates that data may be released to third-party advertisers, all legal accountability has been met. Thus, when that prompt appears asking if users would like to enable location services, once they hit “I agree,” they potentially opt in to releasing this information to third party advertisers and open themselves up to being targeted for ad campaigns such as Flynn’s.While the debate goes on, what can consumers do to protect themselves from unwanted and invasive advertisements? For starters, read privacy policies carefully. If there truly is no need for an app to know your location, do not enable location services. Or, enable location services only when you need them. Another option would be to simply leave your smartphone at home when going to places such as an abortion clinic, as long as it is practical to do so.Cooper Quintin, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which focuses on protecting basic rights in the face of new technology, considers location-based services to be a major privacy threat. He says, “The way we need to fight back against this is by blocking those things that are tracking who we are and where we are and what thing we’re looking at.”—Sheela NimishakaviShare13TweetShareEmail13 Shareslast_img read more