Quality, real-time location data is increasingly part of the advertising and marketing landscape, as well as the privacy law landscape. It allows for a better reality, one where you know more about your surroundings, especially as told by those who want your business.

In their recent paper – Data Privacy: The Current Legal Landscape – attorneys at Troutman Sanders say it’s important to keep an eye on regulations, enforcement actions and cases to be sure you are operating within evolving boundaries of acceptable use of what many people would consider private information.

“The next technological paradigm is completely dependent on both the quality and quantity of data,” the Troutman Sanders team writes. “As connected things (IoT) explode in popularity, they make things such as augmented reality (AR) and autonomous vehicles possible.”

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and autonomous machines are enhanced when high quality and real-time data is available.  “The drive for real-time location data is a perfect example of the hunger of the AR industry for higher-quality data,” the Troutman Sanders attorneys say. To make AR plausible, the ‘virtual reality’ mixed in as a visual overlay must be tailored to the user experience. Companies such as Niantic, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all implement some form of geo-tagging, which allows users to designate a geographical location in relation to a photo, filter, object – and even a Pokémon. On the social media side, social media platforms such as Snapchat allow users to place augmented reality objects and frames into their chats and create geofilters showing where the user is and what the user is doing.”

“While these features allow users to feel more connected to each other and their environment,” the Troutman Sanders team says, “they similarly allow companies and advertisers to gain further valuable insight into individuals and their tendencies. Location data, which once told companies an individual’s particular location, is now enriched with the addition of knowing what users are doing, how the location is relevant to the user, and what the user is feeling at the location.”

This enables a restaurant, for example, to know based on recent social media posts that you and your friends are nearby and may be interested in a bite to eat.

“As interconnectivity grows, so do the opportunities, and the companies that fail to leverage those opportunities may find themselves falling behind their competitors. In venturing into location-based advertising in augmented reality, companies should stay informed of recent enforcement actions, cases, and laws to determine how their role within the ecosystem may be impacted.”

CLICK HERE to read the full piece, released in October 2017  and written by Mark C. Mao, Ronald I. Raether, Jr., Sheila M. Pham, Megan Nicholls, Yanni Lin, Melanie Witte, Molly DiRago, Jonathan Yee and Julia Hoffman.