On this week's episode of The MadTech Podcast, ExchangeWire's Grace Dillon, Rachel Smith, and John Still discuss the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, Amazon's acquisition of One Medical, and S4 Capital's drop in value.
US data privacy bill progresses to Chamber vote
If passed, will the ADPPA permanently change targeted advertising?
The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) has been advanced to a full Chamber vote. The proposed bill is the first comprehensive privacy legislation to be put to a full vote in either the Senate or the House of Representatives, and, if passed, would be the US’s first federal privacy statute.
One of ADPPA’s distinguishing features is its focus on “data minimisation” – that is, limiting the amount of data companies collect to what they would reasonably need to carry out one of seventeen permitted activities. Privacy advocates may be dismayed to find that targeted advertising is listed amongst the seventeen; however, the bill would impose tighter restrictions on how much and what data can be collected for targeting, outright banning any aimed at under-18s and based on “sensitive data”.
ADPPA also promises to allow consumers to opt out of personalised advertising whilst banning tactics like the “dark patterns” used by some websites to skirt GDPR stipulations in the EU. The bill will also direct the Federal Trade Commission to create a universal opt-out standard, although commentators say this will have little impact unless it is adopted by leading browsers Chrome and Safari.
Amazon acquire One Medical
Could this acquisition see Amazon face more scrutiny, both around competition and privacy?
Amazon have purchased One Medical for around USD $3.9bn (~£3.25bn). The acquisition, which was announced last Thursday, increases the online giant’s presence in the healthcare space, a sector which Amazon Health Services SVP Neil Lindsay says “need[s] reinvention”.
Having gone public in 2020, One Medical operates 188 primary-care facilities across 25 markets and offers remote medical services. Amazon staked their first claim in the health space with the acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, and have since expanded their Amazon Care telehealth service.
S4 Capital’s shares halve after revised earnings target
Have S4 Capital grown too quickly for their own good?
The share price of S4 Capital nearly halved last week, declining 46% from £1.2bn to £700m. The latest drop marks an 80% decline (over £3bn since last September) in the agency holding giant’s value this year to date, with S4 having seen £180m wiped from their share value after publication of their annual results was delayed twice by PwC (the auditor having said they were “unable to complete the work necessary”, reportedly due to an inaccurate recording of sales by some staff at Media.Monks).
The slump follows the company reducing their full-year earnings target from around £160m to £120m. The revision followed a warning that profit and revenue growth had slowed in the wake of a rapid hiring spree in the content division. Peel Hunt analyst Jessica Pok described the situation as “disappointing”, but noted that “the silver lining is that demand continues to be strong”. However, Pok warned that “it may take time [for S4 Capital] to regain investor support”.