As Verizon moves closer to completing the $4.48 billion purchase of Yahoo! , the risks and rewards of marketing online data are coming into sharper relief.
Yahoo! became the poster child for geopolitical hacking of consumer data last year, and as a result Verizon shaved $350 million off the price tag for the company’s online operations. As if coordinated attacks of Russian security officers and cyber thieves on Yahoo! weren’t sufficiently disconcerting, the recent move by Congress to strike down FCC restrictions on Internet service providers for marketing subscriber data has only amplified online data anxiety. Internet service providers such as Verizon and Comcast have drawn suspicion for the tactics they will use to market data.
Against this backdrop, Tim Armstrong, CEO of Verizon’s AOL unit, floated on Twitter(TWTR) Monday that Verizon would rename its digital media unit “Oath.”
“‘Oath’ possibly signals a promise to consumers, advertisers and other partners that Verizon is investing in protecting its brands against cyber-attacks such as those inflicted upon Yahoo last year,” Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, said of the name.