What is Gathering? Shopping apps and sites are now a source of privacy concerns

By avi maxwel / in , , , , , , /

Meet Photo Illustrations
A laptop keyboard and Temu logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on March 27, 2023.

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TORONTO (CNN/CTV) — A shopping app that didn’t exist four months ago might be changing the game of e-commerce, however, experts say it’s also raising concerns about data privacy risks.

Garnering conflicting customer reactions throughout Canada and the US, Temu has been making waves on social media platforms over the last two months. The one-stop-shopping service recently became one of North America’s most downloaded free apps on both the App Store and Google Play, thanks in part to its reputation of offering steep discounts on a vast assortment of products, along with opportunities for credit incentives through encouraging sign-up offers.

However, one cybersecurity expert warns that Temu, like any e-commerce app that doesn’t fall under Canadian data protection laws, could present a risk that more shoppers should evaluate.

“Within the last year or so there has been increasing concern about spying from foreign states,” Fred Nerenberg, a senior cybersecurity consultant at a Canadian security firm, told CTVNews. ca over the phone. “But when it comes to people’s data, you are forfeiting your personal information and your browsing habits and your interests to a company that may or may not have ties to foreign governments where that data would be subject to ownership by those foreign states,” he explained.

Temu’s parent company, PDD Holdings, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has subsidiaries primarily registered in China—meaning it could be subject to regulation by Chinese authorities. This is according to a report by the US-China Economics and Security Revision Commission (USCC), which warned that the company’s Chinese ownership raises concerns about cybersecurity, data privacy, and national security concerns.

But how could online shopping present such a digital threat?

“You’re essentially at the mercy of what those companies are doing with your data,” Nerenberg explained, referring to the wide net of data collection these e-commerce services cast. “I think what they choose to do with it is sort of up in the air. It’s under a different jurisdiction.”

Nerenberg said “quite a bit of information about your clientele” can be inferred based solely on browsing habits.

Apps like Temu, he said, can collect metadata that reveals how long customers have looked at certain products and how many times they visited certain pages. This can be used to build data profiles that allow companies to precisely target people with ads that feature products they will be more inclined to purchase.

Nerenberg says the threat could apply to all e-commerce services with international distribution.

According to Forbes, Target once figured out one of its teenage customers was pregnant before her father did, based on her online browsing data.

“These companies could theoretically build those with the same profiles. So it’s no different than the companies here, but how is that information being used by foreign states?”

Temu is an off-shoot

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From Los Arcos to Paradise Valley to Metrocenter, Phoenix- area mall sites are making a comeback

By avi maxwel / in , , , , , , , , , , /

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Metro Phoenix is ​​in the midst of a mall renaissance.

Shopping malls were once a main venue for entertainment, attracting shoppers into large department stores, catering to a wide variety of people eating in the food court and boasting other offerings, such as skate parks, movie theaters and arcades.

However, as shopping habits changed, many malls fell from their former status as a main gathering place, and many across the Valley faced the wrecking ball to make way for new development.

While many have shuttered, some have stood up to the changing retail environment. Others have even thrived.

“The classic mall, the enclosed, two-level, air-conditioned mall has changed,” said David Uhles, senior vice president of Western Retail Advisors. “Shopping behaviors have changed and the demand for experiences has shifted.”

In most markets, Uhles said, a few high-caliber malls can stand the test of time. Those malls, which often include high-end stores, can generally afford the high operating costs that come with such a large retail footprint.

For other malls, which were anchored by lower-end department stores, shifts to online shopping and other changes proved too much to handle. Mall staples, like Sears or JCPenney, have closed hundreds of stores in the past few years, leaving many shopping centers with large, empty stores and nothing to fill them.

When a major anchor closes, Uhles said mall owners often are left with few options, but some of the most successful mall operators have embraced new uses or attracted new-to-market offerings. The closing of Chandler Fashion Center’s Nordstrom location could have created a major problem, he said. However, the space was taken by the sporting goods store Scheels, which will open its only Arizona location at the mall. Other uses of former anchor stores have included gyms or entertainment venues.

Across the Valley, former malls are part of some of the largest redevelopment efforts, making way for business hubs, medical corridors, attainable housing neighborhoods and more.

Malls that are no more

Several malls across the Valley have already been closed, and the space they once occupied will get new life. Often, the redevelopment plans are heavily focused on apartments.

Los Arcos: The former Los Arcos Mall in south Scottsdale was an enclosed shopping mall that was open for about 30 years before its demolition in 2000. The site was pitched as a location for the Coyotes arena, but the team ultimately went to Glendale. In 2005, Arizona State University and the city of Scottsdale agreed to partner on the site, which would eventually develop into SkySong, a mixed-use development that is primarily offices, but includes a hotel, apartments, restaurants and common areas where events are held. Plaza Cos. and Holualoa Cos., the co-developers of SkySong, later partnered again on the redevelopment of Park Central Mall.

An artist’s rendering shows the planned SkySong 6 building, the biggest office building planned at the campus.

Tri-City: Tri-City Mall in Mesa closed in 1998 and was completely demolished in 2006.

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High 20 Chinese language Online Procuring Web sites In English. China Retailers

By Eliza Stuart / in , , , , , , , /

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The Prime 50 Online Procuring Sites In 2019

By Eliza Stuart / in , , , /

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