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Amazon reportedly tried to force Ecobee into sharing user data

Ecobee has been asked to share "proactive state" data, even when users aren't using the Alexa command.

What you need to know

A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims Amazon tried to use its power to put pressure on Ecobee to collect private user data.
Ecobee decided against complying with the demand as doing so would violate customer privacy.
The Canadian company also worried that Amazon could use the data from its users to create competing products.

Amazon leveraged its dominance to put pressure on Canadian smart thermostat maker Ecobee to share data from its devices, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report claims Amazon asked Ecobee to serve data from its Alexa-enabled devices even when customers weren't using them.

Ecobee apparently refused to share data with the tech giant, fearing that complying with the demand would violate the privacy of its customers. The company also worried that Amazon might use the data to build products to rival its best smart thermostats. It was revealed last year that Amazon used third-party seller data to develop rival products using its Amazon Basics brand.

Apart from Ecobee, Amazon is said to have asked a few other Alexa-enabled-device sellers to provide "proactive state" data, which would give the tech giant access to information such as the temperature of a user's home and which doors were locked or unlocked.

An Amazon spokesman, Jack Evans, told the WSJ that the company uses the proactive-state data only to "improve the customer experience and make better recommendations." He added that customers are informed that their data will be shared with Amazon when they link their accounts.

While the report says the two companies are still negotiating, Amazon had told Ecobee that it might not be able to continue selling its products on Amazon's retail platform if it refused to provide the data. The retail giant also threatened to not retain Alexa certification on future Ecobee models.

Read more: androidcentral.com


How Could Deepfakes Change Marketing?

how deepfakes could change marketing

Deepfakes are receiving a lot of bad press.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio( R-Fla .) called the technology a propaganda weapon.

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said deepfakes raise the issue of not believing what you see.

Investigative journalist Rana Ayyub was targeted with a deepfake indecency video to discredit and stillnes her.

With so much negativity around the tech, is there any hazard of it delivering good into the world?

Yes! The likelihoods when you mix AI technology with market are energizing and can change how we are talking about our customers forever.

When used with positive goal, they are a potent marketing tool.

Below, I'm breaking down exactly what these videos are, the drawbacks of using them, and the different ways purveyors are currently exploiting deepfakes to create stronger campaigns.

What Are Deepfakes?

deepfake of barack obama

Have you examine a YouTube video of Barack Obama christen Donald Trump a" accomplish dipshit ?" What about Jon Snow rationalize for the disastrous season finale of Game of Thrones?

If you reacted yes, you've seen a deepfake video.

The term "deepfake" was coined in 2017 and is an association of" depth learning" and "fakes." It works deep teach engineering( a sprig of machine learning) to create the scam.

Artificial Intelligence( AI) learns what the source face looks a lot like at different angles and then superimposes it onto an actor's face, essentially creating a mask.

For example, let's say you have a database of audio times or video registers of a person. You could create a hyper-realistic fake video of celebrities discussing the future of cinema or revenge porn.

Hollywood has already taken advantage of deepfakes by transposing real faces onto other actors. The most notable example is bringing Carrie Fisher back to life for a short scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

While numerous suspicion the technology being used for nefarious dissolves( more on this below ), deepfakes present a range of intriguing possibles. You can create apps to try a new haircut or use it to help doctors with medical diagnosis.

The Drawbacks of Using Deepfake Technology

With the rise of deepfake technology, it's not hard to understand why some people are skeptical and even frightened of it becoming widely adopted.

After all, the advances in this technology make it harder to distinguish what is real and fake.

It can lead to serious perils like imitation report, putting terms in politicians’ or celebrities’ mouths, and devastating someone's life with bogu pornography.

Lack of Trust

Deepfakes can engender a culture of mistrust and not knowing what to trust. If the president accommodates a press conference provoking cruelty, but it's a deepfake, how do you know what to believe?

For example, a deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg manufactured the rounds on the internet. The video pictures Facebook's CEO giving a lecture about how the platform “owns” its useds and ascribing an organization called Spectre for Facebook’s success.

Increase in Scams

Another con is the opportunity it provided for scammers. Audio deepfakes have already been used to defraud people out of money.

For example, a German energy firm's U.K. affiliate paid practically $243,000 into a Hungarian bank account after a scammer mimicked the German CEO's voice.

The core message for both precedents is not knowing what is real.

Consumers are already doubting what they are reading online with social media places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, computing fact-checking process to content. Deepfakes is generated by more distrust of everyone around us and clear us question everything we are seeing and hearing.

7 Natures Purveyors Can Use Deepfakes

With all the backlash and possible difficulties of deepfake engineering, can purveyors use it for good?

The answer is yes!

Some of the world's biggest firebrands are already experimenting with deepfakes and using them to create unique and engaging content.

As long as you're transparent about squandering the technology, you can create a more dynamic consumer journey.

1. Dynamic Campaigns With Influencers to Increase Reach

deepfake of david beckham

Imagine having an influencer agree to an ad campaign and exclusively supplying them with 20 minutes of audio material and a few video shots.

No interminable photo shoot or filming daytimes required.

Not only does it help you save term, but it opens the door to creating dynamic expeditions, a.k.a. microtargeted ads at scale.

Case in site: David Beckham 's 2019 malaria awareness ad. The deepfake had the soccer idol spoke about nine speeches and is an excellent example of how this technology can increase a campaign's reach.

Translating an ad into multiple expressions also countenances labels to enter new groceries seamlessly and speak to customers in their native tongue while still benefiting from the influencer or celebrity's likeness.

2. Hyper-Personalized Campaigns for Your Audience

While some people want to ban deepfakes because of how they can be used to deceive parties, it's a artistic and groundbreaking engineering for marketers when used for good.

If you're in the fashion industry, you could easily show models with different skin tones, summits, and weights.

With the average person watch thousands of ads per daylight, utilizing this tech to create psychological ownership and find the commodity as an extension of themselves is vital to cut through the noise.

It also facilitates purveyors establish hyper-personalized ads. The benefits of creating a shopping experience catered to multiple segments mean you can reap the rewards of personalized market .

3. Product Ownership to Increase Sales

Another way to create ownership with deepfakes is abusing the technology to create personalized videos of your buyers exercising or wearing your products.

For example, Reface AI lets users virtually try on the new Gucci Ace sneaker as one of the purposes of a virtual try-on haul. Users can browse through the footwear options and view it on foot by timing the phone at their feet.

Savvy purveyors know the likelihood of a sale increases if beings feel like they own the produce. It redoubles down on the sensory event where the longer someone wastes gaping and regarding a commodity, the more likely they will buy it.

Deep learning can help stimulate the same experience with a deepfake of "the consumers " behind the motor of the latest BMW or a makeup gape with the newest MAC eyeshadow palette.

4. Host Exhibitions and Events Anywhere in the World

deepfake of dali

For the events and art manufactures, deepfakes open up a life of exciting potentials. The engineering can assist you recreate objectives or people in all regions of the world at the same time.

An example is the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla ., which applies a deepfake of Salvador Dali to respond guests. It causes a more engaging suffer for pilgrims and imparts the surrealism captain back to life.

Dali’s video was created by expend over 6,000 encloses of video footage from past interviews and 1,000 hours of machine learning to overlay it onto an actor's face. What obligates the deepfake even more impressive is that Dali is interactive. The video has more than 190, 000 possible combinations depending on a person's answers.

While we already have holographic concerts for iconic musicians like Michael Jackson, deepfakes would create a more hyper-real experience for attendees. Art showcases can use the technology to expose artworks around the world simultaneously.

Marketers can take it one pace further and create deepfakes of concoctions prelaunch( like the brand-new iPhone) to generate buzz and create an interactive Steve Jobs to answer questions about the latest device.

5. Use Deepfakes to Entertain Your Audience

deepfake of kenny mayne

Marketers can use deep learn to create ad campaigns we would have never been able to do 20 years ago.

State Farm is leading the bundle with its ad for The Last Dance, an ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Using deepfake technology, State Farm superimposed 1998 SportsCenter footage to make it look like Kenny Mayne predicted the documentary.

The ad's success led to a follow-up ad with Keith Olbermann and Linda Cohn " foreseeing " Phil Jackson's success when he left Chicago to lead the Lakers.

These deepfakes serve to purely happy publics and create a viral portion of the information contained for the brand.

6. Market Segmentation and Personalization

One of the most successful deepfake instances employing busines segmentation is the 2018 Zalando campaign with Cara Delevingne.

The campaign's concept was to create awareness around Zalando now delivering Top Shop fashion to parties in the more remote specific areas of Europe.

With a single video shoot, they set up 60,000 bespoke video themes for every tiny town and hamlet in Europe utilizing deepfake technology to produce alternative shots and articulation fonts. Then utilizing Facebook's ad targeting, they showed users the specific video which mentioned their hometown.

The campaign received more than 180 million intuitions, and Top Shop marketings increased by 54 percent.

This can help purveyors eliminate further client generalizations or attraction grouping and cause material that speaks to people on a more individual level.

7. Educating Consumers With Deepfakes

Do you have a product with a see veer? You can use deepfake technology to educate your patrons on how to use it and improve their skills.

For example, if you're a camera symbol like Canon, you can use an AI instructor to help novice photographers learn faster. The technology can point out compositional misunderstandings, admonish on camera deep-seateds, and assists them gradually master their device.

At trade registers, you could have potential purchasers rehearsal taking photos, draw lessons from the AI, or testing their skills against the deepfake. It can help create an interactive knowledge, placed the produce in the person's handwritings, and start building brand loyalty.


Of course, there’s always going to be a few bad apples. While some people are causing mayhem with deepfakes, there are plenty of golden opportunities for marketers.

This technology allows you to create hyper-personalization, duplicate your sell efforts instantly, increase brand loyalty, and use product ownership to increase sales.

What are your thoughts on using deepfakes in market? Do you think its potential to do good outweighs the bad?

Read more: neilpatel.com


SEMrush Disavow Links Tutorial: Create, Export, Submit!

In this upright, we're going to create a disavow file using the SEMrush Backlink Audit tool. If you've been thinking about cleaning up your backlinks profile, this pole is for you.

Before we get started, I want to highlight that I have another in-depth tutorial pole explaining how to clean up your attaches abusing an alternative backlink tool called Monitor Backlinks. Check it out here.

How often do you check your backlinks profile? Would it bother you at all if you have found that half of your attaches were toxic? Or would you carry on like everything is fine?

Have you recently recieved a manual sanction from Google involving your backlinks? Or are you noticed a gradual declined by rankings and traffic?

OK, fairly questions, let's get on with the tutorial.

What is SEMrush and what can you use it for?

semrush disavow links

SEMrush is a popular search engine and digital marketing platform used by thousands of bloggers and purveyors. This isn't simply a backlink analysis tool; it's used for keyword research, website SEO scrutinies, standings moving, challenger analysis, and much more.

I started exercising SEMrush( Premium) for a short while back in 2018, and whilst it's a platform that I now use moderately, it's are exploited by millions of professionals around the world.

SEMrush is not the most affordable tool out there. Expenditures commencing from $ 99 per month. Here in the UK, it's a lot more than that - Around $ 120 per month, to be precise, including the VAT. Which is part of the reason why I now use MonitorBacklinks.

One of the apparent boasts built into SEMrush is the Backlink Auditing tool. This is the feature we're going to be using to create a disavow associates file to export and submit to Google!

Before we is starting, if you don't yet have a SEMrush account, you can grab a 7-day free visitation abusing the link below. Even if you don't signup for the premium option, seven days is spate enough time to go through your backlinks and even export the document onto your computer.

Try SEMrush For 7 Days Free Trial

Thinking of exiting fee? If you're planning on becoming a premium user of SEMrush, my suggestion would be to use it for a few months maximum. If you're a blogger looking to boost your search engine marketing, cleaning process your associates profile, do a little extra keyword research, you don't need to be paying the premium fee month after month if you're merely going to need to use it short term.

Right then, let's dive straight-from-the-shoulder in!

What does repudiating connects actually aim?

In a nutshell, rebutting relations conveys telling Google to ignore any spammy associates drawn attention to your website or blog. These links are submitted in the form of a. txt folder known as a forswear datum.

Before we move onto creating the directory of forsworn associations in SEMrush, I want to highlight a few critical things about exercising this tactic.

Do not defer a renounce schedule to Google unless you're absolutely certain that the links in question have resulted in -

Your website receives the manual penalty from Google.Your positions and traffic to worsen with no recent Google algorithm refresh.

If you accidentally include relates that are actually helping your positions, yes, even a few of the spammy glancing ones, you're going to cause yourself some problems. You may have to remove some attaches from your register and then resubmit. This can be quite tedious, and you may have to wait even longer to feel the effects.

When to use the Google joins disavow tool?

Only use the Google associations rebut implement if you received a manual activity notice and penalty from Google. You should see this in your webmaster dashboard. Or if you know for sure that your higher-rankings and traffic have been affected by the steep number of spammy links you have to your place or blog.

Keep in intellect that Google is smart at detecting and discounting numerous spammy connections, so be sure you know what you're disavowing, and use the tool if it's absolutely necessary.

OK , now let's make a start, finally.

SEMrush Disavow Links Step One: Begin Analysing Your Backlinks

Log into your SEMrush account. From under SEO, in your dashboard, go to Backlink Audit and feed your province through the tool.

sem link 2

Once you're done scan your website, brain over to the tab marked 'Audit' to end your connections profile. See the epitome below.

Here you can begin sifting through each tie and deciding which one to keep and remove.

How to analyse relates in SEMrush?

Before you begin managing your connects, you have to analyze them carefully. The Backlink Audit feature in SEMrush gives you some options for this -

Import backlinks from another source.Export CSV.View sheet title, informant URL, target URL.Anchor type.View metric nature, i.e approval value, monthly inspects, firstly looked, and more.Group associates by URLs or domains.Link toxicity score.

sem link 5

The filtering tools are useful if "youre trying to" dive depth into your relates analysis. Some of these features are quite advanced; nonetheless, you don't need to dive more deep into understanding the specific characteristics of a spammy tie at the end of the working day for general connect cleanup.

One feature you might want to pay close attention to is the Link Toxicity Score. While this is a time-saving metric to consider, I would recommend that you analyze the link carefully before taking a decision and agreeing that it is, in fact, toxic.

From my own experience with using this metic, yes, eight epoches out of ten, it was correct, but I too met a few links to highly relevant, reliable blogs "thats been" differentiated harmful, which of course, were not.

How to manage your joins?

One of the cool features in SEMrush's Backlink Audit tool is the ability to drop relation into a rebut register. You can do this by selecting the link or joins using the checkbox, then going to the Disavow button, and under the dropdown, click on Move to Disavow.

sem dis 2

Alternatively, if you prefer to contact website owners to request link removal, you can select the link and contributed it to your remove register. This tactic doesn't always work.

Here is a full list of options in your Backlink Audit management dashboard in SEMrush -

Whitelist relation - Where you supplemented your good links.Remove associations - Where you supplemented the links, you have requested to be manually removed.Disavow ties - Where you computed links to be rebutted by Google.

SEMrush Disavow Links Step Two: Exporting your disavow roster

OK, so formerly you've added all the links you need to the Disavow file, you can head over to the Disavow tab and carefully discuss each relate once again. Going through it a second time is always recommended.

Note: Don't forget, you can also import associations you want to renounce to SEMrush. Perhaps you have a list taken from your Google Webmaster or other tie management tool such as MonitorBacklinks.

When you're ready to export, touched the dark-green Export to. txt button to create a file.

sem link 6

Drag this enter to your desktop which you'll is essential for the next step.

SEMrush Disavow Links Step Two: Submitting your repudiate document to Google!

Right then, you're almost done with this. Next, you need to open up Google webmaster and log in. If you don't have a webmaster account, you need to create one.

Once you're logged in, go to the submit a forswear datum alternative in the dashboard. If you can't find the link, sound the button below -

Go To Disavow Links

Note: The button above will not work unless you are logged into your webmaster console.

You should picture the Disavow relation carton is available on a page like the one below -

disa 1

Select the website you want to forswear relates from the drop-down menu. On the next sheet that lades up, spoke the advanced feature sense, and click on Disavow Links.

disa 2

Now, select the record you want to submit, which should be on your desktop. Again, make sure it's the document pointing with. txt, then click on submit. Confirm submission, and then you're done!

That is it; you're all done telling Google to ignore all of those spammy and shady-looking ties when slithering and ranking your locate and sheets in exploration. Keep a follow of the rebut datum on your neighbourhood computer for the future.


Google only allows you to submit one repudiate folder. So, if you need to update this file in the future, you are eligible to simply edit the. txt file on your computer, add any new relates, or eliminating the, and resubmit. When you resubmit, it will change whatever record you already have uploaded to Google.

How long does it take to take affect?

That depends on why you submitted your rebut record in the first place. If you receives an manual penalty, you could submit a reconsideration request in your webmaster console.

recon request

I have no idea how long it takes for a reconsideration request to go through. But check out this affix for gratuities and plans on writing an impactful reconsideration request to Google. Best of fluke with it all.

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