Oracle, Sephora face data privacy woes, Medallia acquires Mindful, Lily AI closes $25M Series B, Neustar Partners with InfoSum, more CX news.
Two major developments in the customer data privacy arena involving two major companies came to light this month.
The first is Oracle, which is facing a privacy class action claim filed Friday as a 66-page complaint in the Northern District of California, reported first by TechCrunch. Oracle’s “worldwide surveillance machine” took in information on five billion people, and allegedly the company and its adtech and advertising subsidiaries violated their privacy.
Dr. Johnny Ryan, senior fellow of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Michael Katz-Lacabe, director of research at The Center for Human Rights and Privacy and Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, are the three class representatives.
And in another major privacy development, CCPA, California’s sweeping data privacy act, has seen its first settlement. California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a settlement with Sephora, Inc., resolving allegations that the company violated the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Sephora failed to disclose to consumers that it was selling their personal information, failed to process user requests to opt out of sale via user-enabled global privacy controls in violation of the CCPA, and did not cure these violations within the 30-day period currently allowed by the CCPA, according to the Attorney General.
“Technologies like the Global Privacy Control are a game changer for consumers looking to exercise their data privacy rights. But these rights are meaningless if businesses hide how they are using their customer’s data and ignore requests to opt-out of its sale,” Attorney General Bonta said. “I hope today’s settlement sends a strong message to businesses that are still failing to comply with California’s consumer privacy law. My office is watching, and we will hold you accountable.
“It’s been more than two years since the CCPA went into effect, and businesses’ right to avoid liability by curing their CCPA violations after they are caught is expiring. There are no more excuses. Follow the law, do right by consumers, and process opt-out requests made via user-enabled global privacy controls.”
In other customer experience and digital marketing software news…
Medallia Acquires Mindful
Mindful, formerly known as VHT, is a cloud-based contact center callback technology that provides callback experiences. It automates intelligent callbacks.
Leslie Stretch, CEO of Medallia, said in a statement: “The contact center can make or break a customer’s experience, but as hold times have continued to increase, so have customer frustration and agent attrition. With Mindful, Medallia can give brands the ability to create more seamless and personalized experiences across every channel. We can increase the quality and volume of customer interactions. Most importantly we can help enterprises focus on the right way to talk to the right customers at the right time.”
The Mindful tech will enable Medallia customers to:
- Automatically place high-value customers in the contact center callback queue for a supervisor based on experience signals captured through speech analytics.
- Detect a customer who is late in their buying journey but struggling with a website and take action by offering to schedule a callback at a mutually convenient time to complete the transaction over the phone
Medallia and Mindful have worked closely since 2021. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lily AI Closes $25M Series B
Lily AI, a product attributes platform, announced that it has closed its Series B financing round with participation from Canaan Partners, Conductive Ventures, Sorenson Ventures and NEA, among others.
Lily AI will use the new funding to further expand into mid-market retail ecommerce brands across home, beauty and fashion, according to company officials. Customers will be able to improve on-site search conversion and personalize product discovery and demand forecasting, according to officials.
“Retailers that invest in understanding how to accurately connect their shoppers with the relevant products they’re looking to buy set themselves up for increased conversion, larger order sizes, and a future in which those shoppers return to their e-commerce sites time and again,” Purva Gupta, Lily AI co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Neustar Partners With InfoSum
Neustar, Inc., a TransUnion company, has announced the availability of Neustar Unified Identity, a suite of identity resolution and data capabilities — in the InfoSum Data Clean Room. It’s a multi-party identity management and data collaboration solution.
Customers can connect and share their offline and online customer data and scale their audience segmentation and omnichannel targeting initiatives. The InfoSum Data Clean Room leverages secure multi-party computing to compare and analyze overlapping datasets.
“With InfoSum, we’re helping prepare the marketing world for the transformative changes happening in customer data and B2C marketing,” Michael Schoen, EVP, marketing solutions at Neustar, a TransUnion company, said in a statement. “This partnership reflects our strategic focus on consumer trust and the privacy-enhanced technologies and identity resolution capabilities that make delivering relevant and valuable customer experiences possible.”
Observe.AI Debuts New Reporting & Analytics
Observe.AI’s Reporting & Analytics will give an integrated, holistic view of contact center performance and deliver interactive data exploration and visualization with insights across positive and negative customer experience drivers, customer sentiment agent performance, coaching and revenue opportunities and compliance.
“When it comes to activating contact center conversation intelligence, Observe.AI stands apart in two key areas,” Swapnil Jain, CEO and co-founder of Observe.AI, said in a statement. “Firstly, the unparalleled accuracy and integrity of our interaction data, which represents a goldmine of customer experience insights. Secondly, we propel contact centers to apply this intelligence faster, with powerful automation to drive positive agent behavioral change at speed and scale.”
QuestionPro Acquires Digsite
QuestionPro, which provides online survey and research services, announced it has acquired Digsite’s qualitative research capabilities and collaborative Insights Platform. With the acquisition, QuestionPro will now offer the Digsite qualitative solutions alongside its full suite of enterprise-level research, survey and customer experience software and services.
“Real-time qualitative exploratory research has become a critical part of evolving brands as they respond to a rapidly changing marketplace,” Vivek Bhaskaran, founder and CEO of QuestionPro, said in a statement. “It’s now more critical than ever for brands to have access to both qualitative and quantitative research — and the combination of QuestionPro and Digsite does just that.”