Our focus at Placer.ai has always been helping communities understand their physical places, whether it’s commercial real estate firms, retailers, public service providers, or municipalities. From the beginning, we’ve been intentional about only providing aggregated statistical information about brick and mortar locations, rather than individual-level data. We have never sold user-level data and we never will. Further, we deliberately don’t participate in the ad tech industry where most customers expect to be able to track individual behavior.
We have invested heavily in building privacy mechanisms directly into our platform, including a DPS (differential privacy service), which runs at our partners’ side/cloud, to remove individual identifiers from the data we receive from our partners even before it enters our systems. We simply don’t want it, ever.
To that end, we want to avoid any misperception about how Placer works. Following recent media reports, we removed all Planned Parenthood locations from our dashboard—the only abortion provider in our system—to dispel any potential concerns about how our data can be used. Additionally, our team confirmed that there were no searches for Planned Parenthood on the Placer system prior to these specific media inquiries. This is a part of an ongoing effort to remove all sensitive places from our system.
We also want to set the record straight about what the data within our dashboard means. The geographic markers within the Placer dashboard are not exact locations—they are randomized “dots” placed within a general geographic area. Accordingly, just because a marker happens to appear over a particular location does not mean that a device was actually observed there.That said, although we built our product for enterprise customers who understand our platform, we are in the process of adding prominent descriptions to our website and dashboard to make it more clear what our geographic markers represent.