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Bad Bunny and the Red Pill

We’ve all had that haunting feeling... LinkedIn suggests connecting with a specific industry contact you mentioned during lunch, Insta keeps serving up Chihuahuas dressed in berets—any such random thing. Only we know it's not random at all, and in the past 10 years, the “haunting” has become so pervasive that people now say things like “the algorithm has been good to me today.” 

Normally, my relationship with "the algorithm" is one of weary acceptance, but something happened to me a few weeks ago that really bothered me, and I decided to investigate.

It all started with a decision to play one of my favorite training montages during an internal Broadcat meeting. As I linked out from Zoom to YouTube, I faced an unexpected surprise when Bad Bunny appeared singing Me Porto Bonito for the requisite 6 seconds until “Skip Ads.”

Homer Simpson Simpsons GIF by UPROXXSkip ads, not snacks. D’oh!

I recall this felt more intrusive than usual because: a) the ad was served on a work profile after related media was played on personal profiles, and b) my two recent encounters with the artist’s music originated on other devices. The first was listening to my wife’s reggaeton playlist via Spotify on her phone in the car, and the second was watching a recording of the 2020 JLo Super Bowl special on my SmartTV a few days later.

For me, that meeting was the moment—the turning point when I decided on a different tack with targeted ads: to open my eyes and try to diagnose what really took place. 

Sci-Fi Film GIFI took the red pill. 🐰    

My shift from acceptance to skepticism is not unique. Today’s consumers are highly interested in how their data is being used even if most of us don’t fully understand our data rights or how to exercise them. 

So, how did I conduct my own investigation? Inspired by Broadcat’s customers, I undertook the task of many compliance officers and InfoSec teams when they infer a root cause from an unwanted outcome, whether that is a fraud or a security breach.

In my own rudimentary way, I reviewed the systems used in all three circumstances. In each case, I identified the devices, platforms, transport services, and applications involved in the data flow. Then, I noted if any technologies were common across the events.

Following my review, I evaluated each company objectively (do I know how to limit data sharing with this company?) and subjectively (how much do I trust this company?). While I did not find a smoking gun, at least I gained greater awareness of my data footprint and the blind spots in my relationships with consumer tech. 

For example, I learned that my SmartTV requires creation of a profile as a precondition to opt-out 🙄, and that my telecom provider publishes its privacy opt-out number on a postcard I received in the mail 🤦. Onerous requirements like these result in the loss of consumer trust, and gladly this approach is becoming more the exception than the rule.

In support of transparency in data privacy, our new privacy content aims to provide needed communication tools and training on skills essential to the new normal for consumer data protection. We believe that effective security and stewardship benefit from integrating privacy compliance directly into ordinary business activities.

11-14-22 - Bad Bunny and the Red Pill (blog halfsie image)

What we hear from Broadcat customers and business partners is that compliance teams are stretching to keep up with the steady introduction of new domestic and international privacy laws. To adapt, they are adopting privacy practices that satisfy diverse regulatory frameworks rather than playing jurisdictional whack-a-mole. 

Having a communications strategy that reinforces this holistic approach is essential. As privacy teams look to integrate other employees into privacy initiatives, we hope our concise and visually compelling tools and job aids will lighten the load a bit! 

Want to talk about it? Reach out to: alex[at]