An exterior view of the Supreme Court on a cloudy day.
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The post-Roe data landscape

Protocol Enterprise

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: How the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is sending shockwaves through the location-based advertising industry, a notable win for Arm server chip vendor Ampere and maybe the real cybersecurity treasure is the friends we made along the way.

Advertisers, regulate thyselves?

Digital advertisers have a voracious appetite for location information, and that appetite has fueled the growth of the location data sector. So far.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, that decision not only put the availability of location data for advertising in the spotlight, it might have marked a turning point compelling the digital ad industry to take action to limit data associated with sensitive places.

  • “It appears that the industry organizations have been slow to act, and I do think there's an opportunity for them to tighten the location data policies,” said Grace Briscoe, senior vice president of Client Development at digital ad company Basis Technologies.
  • Industry trade group the Network Advertising Initiative last week announced a new set of voluntary guidelines prohibiting using, selling or sharing any information about device or user activity associated with sensitive locations such as abortion clinics, mental health facilities or places of religious worship.
  • But while three companies publicly agreed to implement the principles, NAI member Google — under government scrutiny about its location data practices — did not sign on publicly to adopt them.

Meanwhile, pressure from actual regulators mounts.

  • Senators recently demanded that location data providers SafeGraph and Placer.ai give details about their data collection practices related to abortion clinics.
  • When announcing his plan to push for a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in Washington, Governor Jay Inslee said the state would plug privacy law gaps that could expose data about people traveling there for abortion services.
  • We are not going to allow that data to get back to Texas or Missouri or Idaho,” Inslee said.

Despite facing pressure from lawmakers for more than a decade to limit and protect location data, the ad industry fought privacy legislation and pushed for increased location data use for much of that period.

  • In 2014, trade consortium the Digital Ad Alliance argued that existing industry self-regulation was preferable to federal data privacy legislation.
  • Meanwhile, the industry’s most prominent trade group the Interactive Advertising Bureau actively encouraged members to take advantage of monetizing mobile location data.
  • But there have never been specific industry-wide self-regulatory limits on location data associated with sensitive places.

Now a post-Roe window to possible change has cracked open.

  • Today the industry groups support a framework for federal privacy legislation (though it does not include specific rules for data about sensitive places).
  • But the IAB told Protocol there is more to come. “We actually are looking at what additional things could we do beyond pushing for this in legislation and regulation,” said Lartease Tiffith, executive vice president for Public Policy at IAB.
  • “The moment gives us some real specifics to address and some momentum around making sure that we solve for some of these potential abuses of the data that's been created,” Briscoe said.

Read in-depth coverage of this issue in the full story.

— Kate Kaye (email | twitter)

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HPE Arms its on-premises servers

HPE helped notch an important step for Arm designs in the on-premises server market, announcing late Tuesday that it is selling a version of its servers powered by chips made by Ampere.

The HPE servers will feature the Altra and Altra Max chips and are targeted at enterprise buyers that want to manage their own hardware. HPE and Dell are basically tied for the lead in the worldwide server market, and we’ll know that Arm designs have started to break through if and when Dell also offers an Ampere-based system design.

Arm designs are becoming more popular for use in servers but still have a long way to go to take a significant portion of the market. According to research from Wells Fargo, Arm server shipments in the first quarter of this year made up 2.2% of the overall market, or roughly 70,000 systems, a big jump from last year’s share of 0.8%. Gartner estimates that more than 5% of shipments for on-premises servers will be based on Arm designs by 2025.

For Ampere, HPE building a system around its processors is a big win, as it attempts to cement a position in self-managed data centers and take share from the chips designed around x86 tech made by Intel and AMD. It will likely be a long fight, but if the Ampere-powered systems offer cheaper performance and energy efficiency it could attract more businesses to give the new HPE servers a shot.

— Max A. Cherney (email | twitter)

Cybersecurity: The kumbaya industry?

Sure, cybersecurity has its rivalries. And sometimes, things do get ugly. But maybe the instances of one security vendor dissing another stand out so much because, by and large, cybersecurity is an unusually collaborative industry. (Maybe?)

Dan Schiappa, chief product officer at security operations platform Arctic Wolf, put it this way in a recent interview: "We have a mission in our industry that most industries don't have: We are fighting the bad guys."

In other words, "I'm not fighting my competitors as much as I'm fighting the bad guys," he told me. "That's why I think we team up probably more than many other industries."

As an example, cybersecurity firms have long shared threat intelligence with one another. "We share threat intelligence with competitors, and they share it with us, because we all publish it openly," Schiappa said.

And crucially, for securing end customers, it's essential that security vendors can get along with each other. That's because most customers use a mix of security products in their environments that often need to be integrated with each other in some fashion.

Most vendors, Schiappa said, recognize that "we have a common customer looking for us collectively to protect them. So we need to work together to do that."


— Kyle Alspach (email | twitter)

Around the enterprise

Chinese cloud providers are pulling back on server purchases this year, according to research from TrendForce, which means next month’s cloud capital expenditure numbers from the Big Three U.S. cloud providers will be even more interesting than usual to watch.


The cloud itself appears to still be A Thing: Infrastructure and platform cloud services grew 36% to $44 billion in the first quarter alone, according to Synergy Research.

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Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!

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